The Role of Social Media in the Multichannel Strategy
Social media has become a natural environment of communication between brands and consumers. It’s not surprising that most companies have decided to create accounts on the most popular plaforms as part of their multichannel marketing strategies. Activity on several communication platforms can significantly support the brand discovery process, build and maintain existing customer relationships, and increase consumer awareness.
Let's check what goals your company can achieve thanks to a multichannel approach and presence in social media channels, as well as how to choose the networks best suited to your needs.
Multichannel is multi-profit
A well-designed and consistently implemented brand communication is a big challenge for any company. This is associated with changes in society's shopping habits. Consumers use multiple channels and devices to search, browse and buy products or services.
One of the ways to reach your customers comprehensively and increase their satisfaction from interacting with the brand is to implement a multichannel strategy.
Multichannel is a model of a holistic approach to contact potential customers that occurs through various channels of reaching. It consists of creating relations between the brand, its offer and the client at many points of contact.
Traditional channels to reach customers, like radio or television, are gradually being replaced by platforms that offer the possibility of two-way communication. The aim is to build a consistent customer experience that will directly translate into trust in the brand. Currently, the Internet and social media offer the greatest opportunities in this area.
According to a report published by Hootsuite, in 2019 there are nearly 3.5 billion social media users in the world, and the vast majority of them use these channels through mobile devices. That's almost half of the human population! What’s the best way to use such huge potential?
Get more social
The specificity of social media perfectly responds to the need to build and maintain stable relationships with the community. However, depending on your target audience, your clients' social media usage habits and information needs may vary significantly.
According to the Sprout Social 2019 Index (Edition XV: Empower and Elevate) report, people follow a company's profile on social media not only because of interest in new products or discounts, but also want to connect with people similar to themselves and communicate with the brand.
However, what channels should you choose to make the action effective?
Which of them will bring the most tangible benefits?
How do you choose the most appropriate media networks?
Consider the following tips.
Ready-made advice on the use of social media in brand communication
1. Understand what distinguishes individual social media sites.
Each of them has a different specialization and way of measuring data, so the presence of the brand in the digital space should not be limited to only one channel.
Top social media used in marketing include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn:
- Facebook gives you the opportunity to share various content (text, graphic, video) and is usually the most popular way of customer contact with the brand. Facebook allows optimal targeting of ads, sending messages via Messenger, as well as the ability to interact in comments.
- YouTube is a very strong medium in the topic of video publishing. This is an extremely popular search engine, giving huge opportunities for content marketing. You can upload both instructional and educational short movies, as well as funny videos from a corporate event.
- Instagram is a place for great photos and video materials in the form of stories, thanks to which you can promote your products and services, as well as implement employer branding activities.
- LinkedIn is known as a platform that is used to establish business relationships. It brings together experts from many fields who can generate leads, recruit employees and exchange professional experience.
The multichannel strategy assumes that brands will plan their activities in social networks according to their goals and needs (range, website traffic, lead generation, etc.).
2. Try to get to know your target group as well as possible
- Who are the people who are interested in your products or services?
- How do they use social media?
- In what times of day they are online?
- What are their shopping habits?
Answering these questions will allow you to determine which channels should be primary for your brand. Knowledge about where on the Internet your customers are present means you can make better-informed decisions about your marketing budget.
3. Choose the formats and content that you will use on each social media platform.
Get ready to adapt your message to the platform you are using, but keep your brand identity consistent:
- Be useful, engaging and up to date. Remember to offer your customers really interesting, fun or helpful content in addition to occasional discounts and competitions.
- Mobile first. Create multimedia creative content, dedicated specifically for this type of device. Use large vertical photos that fill the entire screen on the user's smartphone.
- Video rules and is still one of the most effective elements of digital marketing strategy. On average, recipients remember 95% of the message if it is presented in video form and only 10% if it is delivered as text.
Use different forms, such as:
- Live in the moment, document events here and now. If you organize conferences, trainings or webinars, show it live. Let your community comment and react to interesting events in real-time. 20% of the videos on Facebook are now Live and users spend 3x times longer watching this content compared to saved video.
- AI and AR functionalities will accelerate streaming and shopping trends. Use modern technologies to provide your customers with an amazing experience.
- Show the backstage of work in your company. This is not only a good idea for content in social media, but also a great opportunity to develop employer branding and employee advocacy.
When your customers notice that you are serious about running your social media profiles, the results will come. Loyal and committed customers will directly translate into sales and profit. What's more, a satisfied consumer is the best possible brand ambassador.
However, remember that choosing the right social media channels is a key element of an effective communication strategy. Even the best ideas for campaigns or the most sophisticated posts will not fulfill their role if they are published in the wrong place.