Written by Sonal Jaiswal | Evangelist, Customer Guru
The days of traditional marketing are long gone! ‘Digital marketing’ and ‘social media marketing’ are the buzz words in today’s world. Nowadays, it is not enough if you have a website for your business. Connecting with your customers on other online mediums is of paramount importance. In such a scenario, social networking sites such as Facebook as well as Twitter and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn are gaining popularity as effective marketing tools. With Facebook having more than 1.5 billion active users and Twitter having 300 million active users, (and with numbers growing every day) digital marketing is the need of the hour!
There are numerous benefits associated with social media marketing. A few of them are that you can respond to your customers quicker, you can connect to customers across the world, and you can increase your brand recognition and recall tremendously. Not availing these numerous benefits of social media is only harakiri. Hence, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses, irrespective of their nature and size, to be active and engaging on social media.
In this article, we discuss some of the most engaged brands on social media and what they do to make their customer love them!
Starbucks teaches us that size doesn’t matter!
Starbucks is one of the most loved brands across the world. It has a whopping 360 million followers on Facebook and 11 million followers on Twitter!
I believe Starbucks would have had these followers even if it did not engage with them at all. However, Starbucks ensures that it dutifully and promptly replies to most of its tweets, making customers feel heard and loved! One lesson that Starbucks teaches every business is that, despite the size, it is important to connect emotionally with each customer and make him/her feel special and loved! It makes a humongous effort to post new content with appropriate hashtags, keep customers updated on its new products, inform the coffee-lovers of discounts and goodies, and apprise them on information about the vision that drives Starbucks – almost connecting with each customer as a person, not as a brand.
Here are some lovely ways in which Starbucks makes its customers keep falling in love with it, over and over again! A wonderful example sticking to the basics of being an amazing brand – loving and listening to your customers. The cheerful and friendly tone is just the icing on the cake!
Nike teaches us that conversation is always two-sided
Nike ranks as one of the giants on the social media with a mammoth 230 million followers on Facebook and close to 6 million on Twitter.
However, Nike is the quintessential example of the brand that teaches us that a one-way communication is a big impediment to customer engagement and severely limits meaningful interactions with customers. It encourages its followers and users to post photos and ensures that it responds promptly to all tweets. The #justdoit hashtag is very popular amongst its users who post very interesting photos to show their most loved brand, their newly purchased pair of shoes, or their love for sneakers. In turn, Nike leaves no stone unturned in acknowledging all the fantastic messages it gets, enhancing the customer experience and thus the loyalty.
ESPN teaches us to leverage social media to reach every fan!
ESPN is the world’s premier website for the latest news, video, and in-depth reporting about the world of sports. It has a massive following on both Facebook and Twitter.
This TV channel makes tremendous use of social media to drive both the distribution and conversations about the articles and videos that it produces. In a bid to reach a wider audience, ESPN partners with Twitter in helping viewers have access to streaming high-quality videos on the social networking site. For ESPN, it is all about connecting their fans with the sport! And they do a marvellous job at that! Here are some snippets:
What is interesting to note is that number of followers a brand has does not impact the engagement process at all; conversely a high number of followers does not mean that the followers are engaged. A study by Nestivity on the most engaged brands concluded that while all of the 25 most engaged Twitter accounts had over a million followers, so did the bottom 70% of the same. Hence, numbers are immaterial! What one does with the numbers is all that matters!
Most brands blindly follow suite and keep pushing one way communication, using social media as a platform for marketing. This strategy works well only for a short time. Unless companies learn to engage personally with their customers on social media, they will only see success up to a certain extent. The beauty of social media is that it gives companies an opportunity to connect with their customers on a personal level, and that is exactly how the above mentioned brands leverage social media. Remember to establish a one-to-one connect with your customers and they will always be with you!