Special Offers Are Key To Brand Popularity Online
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Brand awareness is a valuable asset - but what is your brand being associated with online? Are your social media efforts simply about having a presence in the community, so that you don't appear behind the times?
While keeping up with the Jones' shows you are at least engaged with current trends - it won't be enough to bring much return on investment.
This is because you can't half-commit to social media. As time goes on, it's becoming more and more evident that forward-thinking brands are the ones reaping the biggest gains from opening Twitter to Technorati accounts. In order to keep up, you're going to have throw your hat into the ring - as well as your coat, shoes and keys.
Before you open an account or post your first 'status update', ask yourself: what value will my social media efforts have for my target market? Retailers are learning first hand that traditional offers and promotions are what really drive engagement online. For example, weekly promotional codes for exciting discounts released via Twitter are more likely to get people following your account than an update about your latest company lunch (as nice and 'human' as that may be).
That's not to say that you should batter social media platforms with relentless discounts and special offers. This factory attitude will likely turn people off. Instead, intersperse these financial rewards amongst more informative posts: answers to frequently asked questions, top tips and the like. These provide useful, interesting content at no cost to you, giving your market another reason to stay interested; there's even room for your more humorous, inconsequential posts to show the human side behind your company, which traditionally is much easier for people to engage with.
In short, treat your social media programme like a micro-environment for your brand where your target market can access exclusive offers and content, all of which is designed to create a positive experience.
The alternative is staying on the sidelines, but social media never has - and never will be a lucrative 'spectator sport'.