What is the true value of social media?
Using social media outreach as a key step in overall strategy has helped many businesses expand their reach and increase client engagement. While more traditional outreach methods like email blasts, phone conversations, referrals, or face-to-face meetings are still essential, an in-depth and well-planned social media strategy can deliver a high ROI.
For example, Peel, a company looking to distinguish itself in the saturated market of cell phone cases, set up a well-crafted Facebook campaign. The strategy was simple: create a story that explained why their product was unique in the market.
These short Facebook videos gave potential buyers insights into the company and created a sense of trust and transparency. The videos worked incredibly well, and Peel saw 16 times more revenue by the end of the campaign.
Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook provide a professional platform where organizations can build credibility, increase transparency, and cement a company as a trustworthy thought leader with a credible opinion on industry issues.
The four reasons below highlight why many companies have increased their social media presence and found new ways to engage their current and future clients.
1. Showing Your Authentic Culture
Social media outreach can most easily be described as a window into an organization. Companies are able to give clients and investors direct, frequent insights on day-to-day business, and immediate updates on major events.
Companies have realized that without a social media presence, the only insights current and future clients or partners have are their website, press releases, or the industry news. Even if they’re not talking about themselves, someone else is. So, organizations are using social media to create transparency and guide their messaging.
This approach is proven to engage and attract clients and investors. They want to understand the teams that run a company, the work that creates new products, and the people behind the ideas. These are all valuable insights that build trust. In the same way, it’s easier to trust advice from friend. People value a company that they feel connected to and more fully understand.
The more people know about your organization, the more they build trust which can go a long way in building new relationships and maintaining current ones.
2. Aligning corporate focus
Another way successful organizations capitalize on their social media presence is by aligning their entire organization with a clearly defined corporate culture and broader focus.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, constantly updates social media, specifically LinkedIn, with information on his new ventures, top performing employees, his interests, and even company struggles. In fact, he outlines in a 2017 article how he views social media as integral to a company's success, and how he feels about companies that have been slow on the uptake:
These insights are invaluable for Virgin employees at every level. They constantly receive updates on what the overall organization is focused on and developing. They get in-depth knowledge of what their leaders truly place value on. And, they see how their peers and other leaders have succeeded within the organization, and the paths they took to get to their success.
This creates an authentic company culture that employees understand and adapt to. A leader can share their vision with an entire organization, keeping people on the same page, and creating excitement and camaraderie around new developments.
Social media is a valuable tool to show a leader who is truly excited and engaged with a project, who demonstrates employee success, and who promotes new innovations rather than an email that simply states the same.
3. Creating Client Facing Leaders
How much face-time do the leaders in your organization put in with clients?
While client feedback and insights can be incredibly valuable for leaders, this information is often filtered through several layers of organizational structure. The feedback a leader gets is not what the client said, but what the sales team thought was important from the feedback.
A great social media presence encourages engagement. Clients, investors, partners, and prospects leave comments, start discussions, and like or dislike posts to give leaders constant and accessible feedback on what they are really thinking.
This data helps leaders to not only understand the true intent of feedback, but also to get real time information on their new initiatives or strategies, or to check in on how their clients feel about products and current offerings.
In fact, in the article mentioned above, Richard Branson goes on to say how he tries to directly read and respond to as many client reviews as possible. This gives him insights into his own organization, and he can ensure that quality control is in place at every level.
4. The Value of Thought-Leadership
By using social platforms to create true thought-leader content, which is content that people trust and creates genuine discussion and interest, organizations can engage their current base, and expand exponentially.
For example, Casper mattresses have used this strategy to catapult themselves above their competition.
Instead of providing social media content only about their product, Casper produces engaging content about the value their product creates: a good night's sleep.
This topic is broad enough that it engages a wide audience, and as they have cemented themselves as a thought leader, whenever someone searches for information on sleep, they are likely to land on the Casper website.
Thought leadership articles build on all the research and innovation an organization is doing and uses this information to create informed and well thought out opinions that give an authoritative voice. This makes the organization a go-to source for industry news.
As the content gains trust, people start to share posts and opinions around their network, essentiallygiving free industry outreach to a focused target audience.
Building trust, creating an authentic culture for staff and clients, and making sure clients and investors get the right information are all reasons for companies to spend time on their social media strategy. Many companies have seen a massive ROI and up-ticks in revenue by adopting a strategy to show transparency and to engage a wider audience.
Now might be the right time to reconsider your social media presence.
Jacob Reeleder uses data analytics, SEO, and best-practices for original organic content that develops a clear message for clients to share with their stakeholders. At Storyboard, Jake works with clients to develop a corporate voice to elevate their story.