Social media signsSocial media networks were never intended to be used as online advertising bill boards. Still, this is what they have become. And social networkers do not particularly like it.

It seems that avid users of social networkers are not interested in receiving “noise”. This is what they call content they don’t want. They prefer to know what friends they haven’t seen for years or do not even know are eating for dinner. Too much noise gets blocked, or they unsubscribe altogether.

So marketers need to be socially savvy in order to get followers interacting, talking about them and purchasing products.

Develop relationships

Social media users are not so against receiving adverts. They actually recognise that following brands gives them easy access to assistance that will answer their queries. How convenient is it to contact your local sports store and ask, “Have you got any Nike Air Max in a size 9?”

This would be great of course, if all of your followers were approaching you with questions you can answer in their favour. In reality it does not work like that – primarily because social media users are savvier than marketers.

Brands have to be visible on social media networks, and that does not mean simply posting content and sharing the content of others, but actively engaging with followers. Comment on their wall, compliment their posts, like their comments. You know the drill.

This may all seem superficial, but by building relationships, you build trust, and that is an important aspect consumers consider before they opt to purchase from brands online. Furthermore, you eventually want to make them want to approach you, so show followers you are approachable.

Finding the right followers

Building an audience on social networks is easy. Finding followers that are genuinely interested in your brand, your content and your products on the other hand is not.

And what is the point of having thousands of followers on social media sites if they are not engaging with you?

If you do have a huge following you may want to consider culling followers that are not engaging with your content or visiting your store. If you do not have customer profiles to determine which followers are most likely to show an interest, write a quick message asking if they are interested.

You could this by making an offer. Followers that reply you can keep on-board and everyone else can go. Culling followers is an essential exercise on Facebook since they limited the number of fans that receive content through organic reach.

Encourage customer reviews

Remember earlier we mentioned building trust? Well, there is no better platform than social media to win over the trust of your faithful. By encouraging customers to leave comments on your wall you get digital word-of-mouth marketing, far and away the best form of advertising.

Some companies even take social interaction with customers to the next level and use their social accounts as a platform to conduct customer service. Large companies know that not every customer will have a good shopping experience with them, and they also know that people are more likely to talk about their bad experiences than they do the good ones.

And this is why companies have reverted to practicing customer service on social media, otherwise their wall would be plastered with complaints that go unanswered – which looks really bad. Show other customers you care and resolve complaints satisfactorily.

Social media marketing provides companies with ample opportunities to interact with customers and raise the profile of their brand. But the best way to use social media is not for self-promotion, but for getting your followers to promote you by giving praise and recommendations.