Social media signsThe importance of social media networks cannot be underestimated. They enable you to cast your marketing net further afield and connect with customers on a personal level – well virtually at least.

But the emergence of social networks as a marketing platform has changed the way companies connect with customers in the digital sphere. Essentially, you have been invited into their personal world and they demand respect.

Customer service has always been high on the agenda of consumers, and even though shopping is switching to the digital realm, the needs and principles of people have not changed.

The modern day consumer still expect companies to provide great customer service, and on social networks this means being more responsive.

The key principles of social media marketing

Connecting with customers works both ways. Your customers can take the initiative and approach you with questions first. This gives you the opportunity to serve them by offering advice online as if they were in your physical store.

What you have to consider, is the device a customer is using. The majority will use a mobile which means they could be within 5 minutes reach of your store. Quick responses are required and that is what customers expect.

One of the bugbears for your social connects is receiving content they have no interest in, especially if it is a promotional ad. Therefore you should group customers into specific categories based on their personal interests.

Take note of what kind of content your customers are engaging with, the type of questions or comments they post and what content they share with friends. This will enable you to build a profile to fit your categories.

You should also be taking note of which content you post is performing well. Which titles are attracting the most click-throughs, likes and shares? Is there also a particular time of day or day of the week that content performs better?

Social analysis

Performing analysis on your content and social connections is a time-consuming and lengthy process, but you can make the task quicker and easier by using tools.

Social listening apps can be programmed to alert you when specific words are mentioned among your followers whereby you can react immediately with advice, a bit like a social knight with shiny products.

Analytic tools can help determine which titles are receiving the most engagement which gives you a stack of data you can use to put together a content marketing strategy.

Tidying up your social media accounts and culling your band of followers to keep the corn and cull the chaff is also a worthwhile exercise to keep your account more manageable and reach out the valuable customers.

There is an emphasis on customer loyalty and social media networks can help keep you in favour with your audience. Use social media marketing wisely and it will work for you, neglect the demands of your followers and you lose conversions.