How are big businesses succeeding with social media?
In recent years, businesses have become far more sophisticated in their approach to social media. This is in part due to the fact that they can afford to pour resources into cultivating a strong social media team, but capital isn’t the only reason that they’re managing to succeed in the ever-growing social media spectrum. But there are lessons for smaller businesses here, as well as industry giants.
One of the biggest lessons that we can learn from the success methods of big businesses on social media is that the human element of social media is its most powerful. Social media provides the opportunity for businesses to interact with their customers and target demographics in a more human, and less formal way. This has be proven to be a great business strategy, as it breaks down the barriers between a company and its customers, proving that corporations and companies with a more formal tone have a sense of humor too, and aren’t unapproachable. This has done wonders in terms of improving the reputations of businesses. For example, Arby’s, the American restaurant group, had the “win of the night” at the 2014 Grammy Awards, when they tweeted Pharrell Williams, who was wearing a hat which more than slightly resembled the Arby’s logo, “Hey, @Pharrell, can we have our hat back?”. The tweet earned over 80’000 retweets, and was ‘favorited’ over 48’000 times, proving the power of social media when it comes to connecting with a public audience.
As the Arby’s incident suggests, finding the right conversational tone with your audience is an essential part of succeeding on social media. Being approachable, active, and funny are the traits that are considered the most important to twitter users. But above all, the most important way in which businesses are succeeding on social media is pro-actively engaging with their audiences. Different businesses have different methods and techniques when it comes to this depending upon their mediums – for example Free People, the women’s clothing retailer, allows customers to curate their own “look book” using their products. The direct line of communication between company and customer is the most powerful resource that social media affords businesses – and as we have observed, social media responds best when used creatively.