Understanding the Social Media Gap: Passive Presence vs. Active Engagement

We live in a world with communication channels that are becoming exponentially more dynamic. Social networks, mobile devices and gadgets ease interactions between people, businesses and even official entities. Using social media for business and brand recognition remains a good approach due to the rising number of people relying on such platforms.

The numbers don’t lie – Facebook has 1.44 billion monthly active users (as of March 31, 2015), Twitters scores 302 million and YouTube has over a billion active monthly users that upload approximately 300 hours of video every single minute!

Due to mobile internet developments, the number of online users keeps growing and according to recent predictions, it will exceed three billion people in 2015. Furthermore, one third of the world’s population will have access to social networks, according to the We Are Social forecast.

For businesses, all these numbers mean potential fans and followers that can be turned into customers. However, creating accounts in the most popular social networks and updating them time and time again is not the right approach. The effective management of social network presence requires a content strategy and the selection of social media marketing services that fit your brand.

How many social profiles does your business have? Are you active on all? What’s the level of interaction between you and your fans? If you aren’t completely certain of the answers, you need to think about the right way to use social networks and how to make the most of using social media for business purposes.

Do You have to be Social?

How many of your friends and your coworkers have zero social media accounts? We can think of just one such person (and potentially, he’ll succumb to the temptation any day now).

Facebook and the other social networks have started setting the norms when it comes to human interactions, information dissemination and entertainment. According to a Global Web Index’s quarterly report, one in every four minutes spent on the internet is on social networking. Furthermore, the typical online adult spends 1.69 hours on social networking each day.

To answer the question, yes, you do need to be social.

Whether you are the owner of a small local business or you manage a national company, using social media for business is a must. Your marketing strategy, regardless of budget, will be missing on a huge opportunity via the exclusion of social media as a viable channel.

What is the Difference between Social Media Presence and Activity?

Being social means you have to be active. Different social networks require a completely different approach and a unique content strategy. Using the right channels and social media marketing services will improve your visibility, increase the number of customers you have and potentially create brand new revenue generation opportunities.

Creating social accounts based on the newest trends might be a working tool for some brands but does it fit yours? Pinterest and Tumblr are the fastest growing social networks and they continuously register amazing popularity surges. Some businesses take advantage of the trend and develop Tumblr or Pinterest social presence but it doesn’t mean that everybody needs to be there.

Just being ON the social network isn’t enough. Interactions with users, sharing interesting content, the process of asking questions and getting answers are the most important parts of the social communication strategy. The more targeted and effective you are in the approach, the higher your visibility is going to be.

Creating Meaningful Social Activity: A How-to Guide

Facebook announced that a new news feed update is rolling out. The aim of the update is to balance content from friends, pages and promo campaigns. Said bluntly, your fans will be less likely to see post from your Facebook page unlike posts from their friends. That means that the content that your page produces will be more important than ever.

Changes in social networks algorithms aim to improve content. This way, pages putting effort in quality content curation will see a much better exposure and the ones that are just there will sink to the top.

So, what does it take to use social media for business like a pro? Follow these basic, yet very effective steps:

Choose the right social channels: you can choose among hundreds of social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram are among the most popular platforms. When choosing a social networkm, think about your users and the places where they are likely to be most active.

Have a content plan: creating interesting posts that engage users is a tough job. People have a low attention span and to keep them focused, you need quality and relevant content. Don’t be afraid to experiment with content. Post questions, photos, infographics, videos, and observe reactions. Be ready to answer questions. People are online more than ever and you need to be ready to meet their requirements for quality interactions with a business.

It’s all about the user experience: when you’re posting, think like the typical social network user. People need added value in terms of information. Help them or make them laugh – both approaches will work. If you manage to create social media content that engages people, they will interact more with your account.

Customize the campaign for each channel: every social network has specifics – some are B2C, others are more suitable for B2B communication. You can use both B2B and B2C channels but pay attention to the messages you share. Every social platform requires a specific approach, even when it comes to the number of posts.

Don’t be pushy in terms of promoting your business: tell the audience about your products and services. Upload quality presentations and make sure that your brand identity elements are all present. Still, social media are all about building relationships and giving your audience something valuable. Don’t be pushy with the promotion, otherwise, you risk losing many of your followers.

Social media management requires time and devotion.  Just being on these platforms isn’t the same as making full use of them and boosting engagement. A thoughtful approach will be needed to connect with the right audience and keep it actively involved.

Do you lack the time to work on your social media marketing? Don’t know how to get started? Contact us today for a free consultation. The Phoenix Digital Solutions social media marketing team will be happy to answer all your questions. To learn more about our social media management service, please click here.

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