Is your social media strategy a business driver or an afterthought? Take it from a social media marketing specialist–either way, there is still a lot you can learn.
‘Seamless brand experience’ is one of those popular terms that floats around the marketing scene. But today, it is a critical responsibility for marketers who want to create true business value.
Customers expect personalization. Marketers of all stripes must transform ordinary interactions into one-of-a-kind experiences in order to stay competitive. In many cases, control of brand perception is now shared between marketers and customers.
Social media marketing specialists are tasked with engaging customers on an intimate level, more so than most other marketers. They must temper customer expectations as well. Finally, they must be ready to connect experiences across channels to create those seamless experiences.
Role of the Social Media Marketing Specialist
Social media is the most dynamic space in which a brand can take action. Social media marketing specialists build positive brand perceptions in these changing environments.
Realizing that customer interactions cannot exist in a void is important for any social media marketing specialist. That is key to their responsibility for brand perception and seamless experiences.
“It isn’t a job that functions independently or in isolation within the company,” says Forbes. “Social media management has become a complex, multi-faceted role that operates to help a business achieve its highest-level goals.”
Marketers have learned that business is always person-to-person. This is especially true of social media, where digital engagement is organic.
The role of a social media marketing specialist is expanding quickly. As customers move from channel to channel, social media engagement must carry to e-commerce, call center, and person-to-person platforms as well.
How Perception Influences Buying Decisions
The way your customers perceive your brand influences all of their buying decisions. Those experiences will influence potential customers as well.
Meaningful brands connect with people on an emotional level. Customers who have bad experiences with your brand can easily jeopardize your brand perception on social media. If your service is especially poor, customers will swiftly unite in a challenge against you.
Social media gives you opportunities to earn the love of your customers as well. The way your social media marketing specialists respond to challenges can mean serious wins for your brand as a whole. That’s the power of social media.
Business is always person-to-person, whether your customers are consumers or other businesses. Companies who look at social media in the context of their overall brand strategy have the greatest opportunities for success.
The Value of Consistent Branding & Platform Integration
In a moment we’ll discuss effective use of content on social media. As we will find, a key component is consistency across channels. You will hurt brand perception by offering conflicting messaging or unfamiliar context in different channels.
Customers want to make connections with your brand. They want to experience the brands they like in multiple facets of their lives. The brands they love–your brand–should always be within reach, no matter the channel.
Some of the most important design techniques employed by a leading social media marketing specialist call for “a cohesive brand image that eliminates confusion in your customers’ minds about how you can help them.”
The two channels are linked. Much of the company’s Facebook page content feeds on Instagram as well. But the company engages with customers differently on each channel.
In this case, a customer service component is on the company Facebook page. There are clear calls to action for more touchpoints as well. In this way, customer service and social media marketing specialists can collaborate across channels.
Marketers must integrate all these channels. They must use them together for customer engagement. They must be consistent and fall under the same brand strategy for long-term success.
7 Techniques for Crafting a Seamless Brand Experience
Are you ready to transform your brand? Social media marketing specialists use the following techniques to streamline customers’ paths to purchase.
1. Incorporate Social Media into Your Greater Digital Strategy
Social media has become a fundamental part of digital marketing. That’s because social media is an exceptional way to grow audiences online.
A social media marketing specialist will exploit certain aspects of social channels for market gain. These advantages are not possible through other marketing channels.
Brands can tailor their messaging based on social platforms. Target audiences will engage differently on Facebook than on Twitter. Social strategies can approach these with specific channel goals in mind.
Target audiences also provide a great deal of data through social channels. As brands engage with these audiences, they produce more and more data in real time.
This includes any direct messaging audiences send to brands via these channels. Brands can gauge their brand perception based on their audiences’ social activity. That’s another way social marketing contributes to a greater digital strategy.
According to Christine Moorman, Professor of Business Administration at Duke University, “If social media actions are undertaken without a clear customer objective, integration [with greater marketing strategies] is likely to be elusive. This means that marketers should always identify a specific customer objective when employing social media tactics.”
A key measure of success for marketers is improving customer experiences. Social media provides great opportunities for direct customer interactions. Any social media marketing specialist needs a unique skillset to manage these interactions effectively.
As we will find, there are several factors involved in successful social engagement. These include engaging content and responsiveness to frequent changes in the market. But companies who begin with a social media marketing plan have the greatest chance of success.
2. Create a Social Media Marketing Plan
What do you plan to do with your social media agenda? What do you hope to accomplish? And who are the skilled professionals who are going to get you there?
These are simple questions to ask at the start of your planning stage. Companies must start here to create seamless brand experiences.
The first step is establishing the goals you wish to achieve. You can achieve these goals to prove your ROI to company stakeholders.
These goals should align with your greater digital marketing strategy. This helps facilitate seamless experiences as customers move from channel to channel.
In time, your company website should transition seamlessly to and from social channels. Content on your company website should feed into social channels as well.
Many companies use vanity goals like Retweets and Likes to measure social success. But a quick search will show that there are serious social media metrics as well. These include share of traffic driven, social share of voice, and others.
The second step is developing your social media marketing plan. This involves content marketing, customer service, platform integration, and customer engagement. We will review aspects of a social media marketing plan in the next sections.
The third step is assessing your social capabilities. That includes looking at the capabilities of both your staff and your technology.
You will need to have a social media marketing specialist or team on board. When looking for resources, consider experts with the following skills:
- Design (Graphics & Videos)
- Public Speaking
- Customer Service
- Behavioral Analytics
You may not find all these skills in a single person. But these are valuable skills to have in a skilled agency or across your team.
The fourth and final step is launch. After we review aspects of a social media marketing plan, you will have what you need to take this step forward.
3. Use Content Marketing Capabilities
Content marketing is an essential tool for any social media marketing specialist. That’s because content drives engagement in the digital world today.
This is especially true of images and videos. Forbes states that photo posts on Facebook receive 120% more engagement than other types of posts.
Content marketing should drive audiences to a desirable outcome. That can be another conversation with someone at your company or a purchase itself.
Content has to be both unique and consistent with brand messaging. As discussed, messaging must serve a unique purpose on each social media channel. But customers who encounter conflicting messaging will have an inconsistent experience with your brand.
Here are some tips on using design to create a consistent visual brand:
- Develop a calendar for alternating content across digital channels
- Share recent brand and company developments in a personalized way
- Reply directly to comments from your audience on brand materials
- Incorporate social content strategically as part of greater corporate efforts
An adaptable design team is an essential component of content marketing. As strategies change, you’ll need specialists who can respond with new engaging content. Hire a designer or partner with a background in brand transformation.
4. Emphasize Customer Service
Call center and chatbot integration are becoming increasingly popular. But customer service is a responsibility for all your employees. This is especially true of your social media marketing specialist.
Your social media managers are the new voice of your company. Customers, prospects, critics, and journalists can all hear what they have to say, any time of day. Do you know what they are saying?
Customer service on social media demands near-immediate response times with customers. This can happen at any stage of engagement. They must also put out social emergencies, where collective complaints pile up on a single channel, visible to everyone.
These experts need thick skin and quick thinking. But mostly they need a will to solve people’s problems.
The right professionals will find a way to improve your customers’ brand experiences. Give them the flexibility they need to do it.
5. Integrate Platforms & Involvement
Customer engagement demands that everyone on your team share in social media responsibilities. Successful teams integrate many platforms to provide a seamless brand experience.
As stated, strategists will align social media marketing with greater brand objectives. Content marketing, for example, might feed website content into social channels.
This doubles the value of your investment in that content. It also adds another way to direct traffic to channels that support conversions.
A digital strategy may call for broad messaging on the company website. It may call for greater targeting in other appropriate channels. Facebook and Twitter provide excellent means to communicate those targeted messages.
6. Respond to Customers & Market Change
Your customers have power over your brand. When they change their tastes, they can send shockwaves throughout social media. Fortunately for you, the can respond to your changes in shockwaves as well.
Social media gives all of us the opportunity to share and receive feedback in real time. Changes in customer opinion and brand perception will result from this rapid communication. Your team may not always be aware of them.
Your response to market changes will depend on both your perception and your fluidity. If your customers stop liking your message, they will quickly find a replacement.
Social media is not only a marketing channel. It’s a new way to serve your customers. How many ways are you servicing them now?
You can transform your social media strategy into a loyalty driver. Creating customer relationships and responding to customer needs can be two more measurements of your team’s success.
7. Have Fun
If you’re not enjoying your work, your customers aren’t either. Marketing is serious business, but the creativity and fun behind social engagement is something to enjoy.
Every day your team can come together to discuss creative ideas. If you’ve chosen to partner with a social media marketing specialist agency, those experts can turn those ideas into compelling campaigns for your brand.
Social media, above all, is a platform for creativity and the engagement of curious people. That’s a philosophy for the start of all strategy sessions in the future. Enjoy them all.
Make Social Media Your Next Great Success
You have a lot of work ahead of you.
Our agile team is packed with creativity and ready to help.
Contact Snowberry Media for a customized plan and let’s get started on your next revolutionary project today!