How to Strategically Use Social Media to Drive a Digital Transformation
As we enter a post-pandemic world, digital transformation is high on the agenda of many businesses. As competition increases ever further, coupled with the issues faced with supply and demand, businesses are seeking an edge and are accelerating their shift to a digital world.
Within that new landscape is the need to seamlessly integrate a social media strategy and ensure it is leveraged as part of the wider digital transformation drive. An effective social media strategy can further develop customer loyalty, provide agility, and meet your wider business goals.
But how can you ensure that your social media strategy is aligned to your businesses’ digital transformation?
How does social media play an important role in digital innovation?
We know what social media is and many of you reading this will most likely understand how it can be leveraged to meet your business goals, be it database capture, brand awareness or product sales. But how do you build a strategy that drives digital transformation?
If such a transformation is a fundamental shift in how your business operates, your social media strategy must match such innovation.
Here are three areas of a social media strategy that are crucial to driving a digital transformation:
1. Building customer relationships
Under a digital transformation, your business will most likely need to integrate several channels to ensure a seamless delivery of messaging and customer engagement. Out of those channels, social media is often the first port-of-call for users when they wish to engage a brand. By dedicating part of your social strategy to customer relationships, not only are you enhancing value, but you’re also building trust and loyalty.
Reviewing all channels to find out how your audience currently contact you with social media queries is a good place to start. A survey found that answering a social media complaint can increase customer advocacy by as much as 25%.
To help secure customer trust, you can integrate a customer services option within your social channels, to give customers a straightforward way of contacting your brand and offer speed of resolution. What’s more, the data you gather via those social media interactions can be vital to your digital transformation.
2. Enhancing brand credibility
When it comes to developing brand awareness and increasing perception, social media is perhaps your most vital digital tool considering 78% consumers base their decision after a positive experience on social media. In the B2B space, such decision-making can be based on strong connections developed on social media.
Securing that added credibility and trust can give you an early head-start over your competitors during a digital transformation. One of the most effective ways of securing brand credibility is by hearing from previous customers. In fact, 79% of customers say their purchase decisions are highly influenced by content from other users. Integrating User Generated Content (UGC) into your always-on social strategy can therefore directly benefit your conversion rate and grow your bottom line.
Another way of monitoring customers’ perception of your brand is by employing social listening tools, such as share of voice, which monitors how your brand is being spoken about online and the sentiment of those comments. These can help to validate or uncover new associated conversations your brand can get involved with. Listening tools can also highlight whether a response is needed to any negative sentiment surrounding your brand, giving you time to come up with a strategy to counteract any poor sentiment.
3. Data, data and more data
Social media is heaven for big data. There are approximately 3.2 billion social media users out there, all touching crucial data points as they browse across the platforms, giving your brand a valuable idea of who is engaging with you on social media.
Such valuable data can be harvested to improve customer experiences, to better understand customer behaviours, and help you gain a better understanding of what drives their decision-making process.
This will also help inform any paid campaigns you may be running for your brand, resulting in higher engagement and more efficient use of budgets for this paid activity. Of course, to make the most of insights such as behavioural traits, big data is crucial, as we have covered in our recent industry insight.
What are the challenges of social media marketing?
For many businesses, social media is a vital and lucrative pillar of their marketing and communications strategy. With that comes certain challenges that need to be navigated to turn your social media strategy from good to great.
When it comes to paid versus organic: which approach is best and what should a business be most focussed on?
The answer is simple: both.
Marketers are ploughing more and more of their budgets into paid social. This year, total ad revenue is expected to top $173 billion. Its benefits are clear: the potential to engage millions of targeted users, the ability to drive business objectives from direct sales, to lead generation, to brand awareness. A challenge of social media strategy is getting the paid approach right – if you can, you have opened a very lucrative door. Our guide to social media advertising explains that in more detail.
When it comes to organic social media, think of it as your shop window, a place where first-time and existing customers can visit to gain a better understanding of your business. Organic social is also where customer relationships are built. In fact, 43% of B2C customers use social media to discover new products and services. That often starts with a visit to your social media profile, so ensure that your always-on social content strategy is effective, and make sure you provide as strong a customer experience as you can.
Lastly, an effective social media strategy requires time and care. The most effective strategies contain a mix of content creation, channel and community management, design, paid advertising and reporting. You may require a dedicated team that can fulfil all these roles to ensure you’re maximising your strategy.
How do you drive a digital transformation for social media?
The good news is that today businesses have access to incredibly helpful tools which can ease their transition towards digital transformation and overhaul their social media.
For example, social listening and media monitoring platforms can provide you with valuable insight into customer behaviours and conversations, all whilst providing you with a good understanding of how they engage on social media – valuable data that can help inform your strategy. Automated tools to help create and schedule content across the various social media platforms are also incredibly useful, creating more efficiency and enabling your team to focus on the strategic and creative side of social media.
Beyond improving efficiencies and streamlining tasks, perhaps the biggest advantage social media provides as part of a wider digital transformation drive is visibility. According to Process Maker, 90% of businesses understand the importance of social media and leverage it to drive growth.
If digital transformation paves the way for innovation and improved efficiencies, social media’s role is vital to enhance customer relationships, build credibility and ultimately contribute ROI and business growth. To find out more about how the Bannerflow product can help in your digital transformation book a demo to see our platform in action.