Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are just for fun, aren’t they? A way to keep in touch with friends and share pictures of babies and pets doing silly things. While that might have been the case a decade ago, most successful businesses have realized that having a social media presence is essential. Not only to have a presence – but to be active and engaged on social media platforms.
While LinkedIn is a place for working and networking and has a more serious air, it is not the only place where a business needs a presence. In fact, LinkedIn works more like a public CV where candidates can show off their experience to date rather than being a place for businesses to interact with consumers.
Having social media is essential for any business. As well as a dedicated Facebook page, most organizations have at least one Twitter account and an Instagram page. These can be used in different ways depending on what line of business you are in. One of the big advantages for a smaller or start-up business is that a social media page can initially be used rather than an expensive website. Even when the business has grown sufficiently to have a website, the social media feed can be used to keep the website refreshed by embedding the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds on the home page.
Social media is a constantly evolving world, and most companies now employ people specifically to look after what appears on these platforms. As a result, social media is an essential part of the marketing mix, allowing brands to interact with their customers.
Some businesses have been created almost entirely on social media. If you consider any of the ‘influencers’, this role could not have existed in the days before social media. They would have had to negotiate with the owners of mainstream media, be that papers, magazines, or TV stations. Instead, social media has given them direct access to build their audience and influence what their followers purchase and think about brands and products.
If customers are unhappy with a product or service, they will usually try to get hold of customer service. Unfortunately, many businesses do not respond quickly enough to customers’ issues, which can lead to them taking to social media and letting the world know something is wrong. Social media users understand their power even if they only have a relatively small number of followers. Queries can quickly escalate into complaints if they are not handled effectively. The next thing you know is that a negative review has been left on a social media page or third-party review site.
A wise brand owner will embrace the opportunity to get good customer reviews and feedback. Some industries take reviews even more seriously. An excellent example is the restaurant industry, where whole reputations are built and destroyed by a small clique of critics who publish their opinions in national newspapers. Restaurants that do not get visited by these big-name critics can get their customers to let potential diners know what the food was like by getting them to write a review on Facebook or leave feedback on Instagram.
Some igaming sites take social media very seriously and keep posts and news up to date across different platforms. They link to independent third-party review sites and publish these back onto their social media pages. For example, Unibet Australia can communicate with customers at home and right around the world by linking to reviews on one of its social media pages. Glowing reviews are an easy way for iGaming sites to create social media content.
Savvy brands should also be aware of the increasing popularity of TikTok. Again, this was not taken particularly seriously a few years back, but this has changed as more and more people migrate to the platform. For example, Ryan Air, the budget airline, uses humor on the platform to increase engagement. The airline uses footage of its planes onto which human facial features have been superimposed with carefully selected trending audio overlaid. This proves that taking social media seriously doesn’t have to be done in a serious way.