by LaKisha Greenwade | Featured Contributor
Is social media here to stay? Absolutely! Actually, it is an understatement. Social media will continue to expand reach by integrating with non traditional platforms in the next few years.
When building a brand, please know that you are ‘tardy to the party’ if there is no online presence outside of a webpage. A fan page on a popular platform is not enough today and considered Pre-K in the school of Business Building.
What does this mean?
It is no longer optional to curate regular fresh content for your audience and interact with your followers.
I have heard many moans and groans from business owners who just want to work on their business versus in it. I understand. However, that is not an excuse to allow your business to suffer due to discomfort with the ever changing social media landscape. To prevent overwhelm, create a content calendar or contract out social media management duties and ads services to:
1) achieve an online presence in platforms where your customers reside,
2) grow your customer base and mailing lists, and
3) prepare yourself for new social media launches and trends that impact the way your customers research brands.
Do you still need convincing?
Well, 4 in 10 internet users say they follow their favorite brands on social media. Over one-third of online shoppers use social media to “find inspiration” for a purchase and 59% of Americans with social media accounts think that customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved.
It is imperative to establish and grow your presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Google Plus.
Facebook is the most widely used platform with 79% of the American population. LinkedIn is a platform growing in importance for the Business to Business community, especially with use of video. It is critical for those seeking to build their personal brands to create some focus here. Twitter recently launched a service to help brands reach target audiences payable directly to the platform.
This is just the beginning.
Social integrations are guaranteed to dominate in the near future. Once you have established consistent online presence, consider how one of the upcoming trends will aid in your brand building efforts.
- Artificial Intelligence and Voice programs such as Alexa;
- Chat bots;
- Video; and
- Social Influencers.
It is possible for you to:
1) create micro content for voice focused platforms,
2) improve customer service interactions with chat bots,
3) improve brand knowledge with video on all platforms (especially YouTube), and lastly,
4) integrate the use of social influencers to build brand awareness.
These featured trends of today will become mainstays of tomorrow. Do not delay auditing your brand presence on social media and invest in resources to enhance it for growth. It’s a move you won’t regret.