Social media's role in building brands.

Author:Hershberger, Tara

IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD TARGET A MARKETING EFFORT TO PEOPLE who are 56 percent more likely to recommend and buy from you, would go after them? That's not just crazy talk (remember the Simpsons?); that's your social media audience waiting to connect with you.

Studies have shown that social media users spend more and are more influential with their peers than the general Internet consumer. Half of social network users follow a brand. Most people who follow and interact with brands do so for two primary reasons: because they are a customer or because of a promotion or discount. Its the "What's in it for me?" mentality that makes the initial connection, giving your brand coveted access to the person's social network.

But brands need to treat this "opt in" with respect. That means avoid automating posts by broadcasting them across all your social media profiles via a third party application. Autoposting to Facebook, for example, decreases likes and comments by 70 percent. Social media users know when its a computer posting. They can recognize Facebook posts that are consistently less than 140 characters with no photo, or Twitter posts that are cut off midsentence with a shortened link to a Facebook post. This is where the extra effort of customizing posts for each platform pays off.

Ninety-five percent of Facebook timeline posts are not answered by brands. This is another area where community financial institutions can make 4 an impact right away. Social media is fundamentally about two-way communication, so respond to comments and seek comments from others as you develop your content. In doing this, you will begin to generate positive word of mouth.

You should be on social media

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