3 Ways to Create Meaningful Relationships Using Social Media

Opinion: If you think likes and comments are all you need to achieve the ROI your brand is looking for, you may be in for a rude awakening

Headshot of Stephen Boidock

Not all engagement is created equal. Sure, some engagement is better than none, but thankfully, we’ve moved past the days when impressions were the golden standard in determining campaign effectiveness.

Yet, if you think that basic likes and comments are all you need to achieve the return on investment your brand is looking for, you may be in for a rude awakening. Here are three must-haves you can plan to make your social engagement more meaningful:

  1. Make a long-term commitment: Many marketers think about customer touchpoints as a way to get fans to a point of purchase as fast as possible. While a good effort, this often leads to short-sighted tactics and content that don’t necessarily do the best job of educating and inspiring an audience. The majority of fans aren’t in a “purchase now” state of mind, and pushing against their will for an e-commerce experience has high opportunity cost. Yes, a few people may actually purchase something, but the rest will remember that your brand is mostly concerned about itself, not the needs and challenges of its customers. Instead, think of each touchpoint as a single moment in a much larger customer journey where each serves as a chance to build relationships with fans and remind them that your brand exists because of them.
  2. Keep it short and sweet: Social is perhaps the loudest arena you could possibly enter where everyone is (virtually) yelling over each other, hoping to grab your attention. Scrolling through a newsfeed can also be like driving down the highway at 300 miles per hour when brands try to pack as many themes, features and calls to action as possible into a single piece of content. Put simply: The more brands that are shouting their message into the internet, the less people will listen. Instead of bombarding fans, try using each individual piece as a teaser, enticing consumers to visit a site for more information and future pieces of content. Occasionally, a long-form video can include more elements of the story, allowing users to absorb more information, but that’s usually the exception to the rule.
  3. Personalize it: Almost all content that is shared in social is personal. Why? Because every time you write a Facebook post, send a Snap or update your LinkedIn profile, you’re creating content that is uniquely relevant and personal to you. So why are most of the social sharing components of a campaign or program generic? Why do we still see the “share this page” button at the bottom of an experience? In truth, it’s because most brands see this as an afterthought and hope to gain a few extra engagements by adding those buttons. What brands should be thinking about is how they can incorporate meaningful and personal moments of shareability when first planning a campaign. By building a share component with personalization in mind, brands can expect much higher engagement, including shares and return visitors to their experiences.

Stephen Boidock is director of social media at brand engagement provider Drumroll.

Image courtesy of Ridofranz/iStock.

Stephen Boidock is director of marketing at Drumroll.