When it comes to social media, communicating the right way is key. Consumers often use social media to suss out your product or service, whether you are trustworthy, authentic and if your customer experience is up to scratch. In part 2 we discuss the right way to communicate to your audience and how social media influencers can help your brand gain trust.
Marius 00:00 Kyle, good morning.
Kyle 00:01 Morning Marius.
Marius 00:02 If I think of the state in the previous discussion we had evolved around the social media phenomenon What does it mean for us, if it is really necessary but we haven’t touched on the content, now do we upload funny videos and laugh about that and funny pictures on Instagram, nothing to do with the business or are there rules here?
Kyle 00:24 Look you've got to look at it from this point of view. You want to be obviously communicating and sending out messaging that's going to be a benefit to your business and simply putting out today's joke is not going to do that unless you happen to be a comedian and you're looking to sell tickets to your show then that’s a great strategy to have is to post lots of jokes. I think the critical thing with social media is that you want to connect with people. So you know the overarching principle of it is that you need to have content that is going to connect with people so that they get to know you as a brand while you're learning a little bit about them at the same time, how they respond and the feedback that they give you.
Marius 01:07 I would agree there I mean if you want to be a comedian let’s say or post the latest weather updates that’s not the forum that you’re going to do it on. What I do see, if I take an example of Buco they have now started the special thing, there’s a sale on. Should people concentrate on that or should they go on with fixed content? For example now who Buco is, where they are and what they do or do we upload this whole thing about competitions and guess this and guess that and you can win R1000 voucher and stop with that afterwards?
Kyle 01:37 Look the answer to the question is that all those things are right and wrong, they all depend on who you are and who you target so the number one thing with any marketing and social media should be within the context of your overall marketing scheme. It is not a stand alone thing where you'd be doing something totally and utterly different on social media as what you're doing in other parts of your brand communication. So you want to know who your target market is, what drives them, what are their values, what is it day to day life looks like and how are they going about using your products and services and how does that impact their life and then you would look at creating a mix of content to be the most useful. As a general rule of thumb, we don't tell people now, you know when you're marketing for sale you're going to use lots of channels, different ones, just don't make your social media fully focused on sales because that's not what it's going to only be there for, it's got to be about building a community behind your brand.
So if you take Buco, for example, they could have, I would most probably go with a 75/25 mix just as a broad off the bat, let's say, assessment. So 25% of the content being focused on specials and what’s happening right then and then come into the store now and get these things and then 75% of the content being something that people could find useful. So you know maybe, what they would kind of do, is say “Okay great, we want to get people using our power tool, I’m being as broad as possible because I’m trying to get everyone to relate to the example and let’s say they want to get people to use their power tools, maybe then when you get to them to use a specific brand of power tool and that brand come alongside them and says ok cool we want you to promote them, then maybe for an entire month they’re going to post really great content about you know why you want to use these power tools and how you can use them, so tips and tricks and all those kinds of things.
It depends on your brand and where your brand is at and who they are targeting that, that content mix but your fundamental thing would be it could be about connecting with your audience and in order to connect you need to be useful, you need to be valuable to them. So whether that's you know if you're a brand that says let's say for example you're a sports team then you want to get people behind the team, so you’re going to post a lot of video content about behind the scenes about players, interviewing players, looking at the training all that kind of stuff. It gives people more about the team and gets them more behind you. If you're saying, in the business space and you know maybe you’re a financial advisor, you’re going to be posting content that's going to be helping people develop great financial habits for example but understand that it's going to be different for everyone based on that you're targeting people that are different people and you're targeting them with something different in relation to your brand, you know what I'm saying?
So you know you're not going to have Buco share tips on how to grow yourself, they might share tips on how to grow your garden, for example, they wouldn’t share cooking tips, you know that’s obviously not going to work. So the temptation with social media is to either be totally frivolous or to be way too salesy, you know I’ve seen that. so either a switch between this like heavy shoving product down people's throats and specials or to the complete opposite which is just totally random jokes that you are just typing out. And the best mix is somewhere in between those two where you are relatable and you’re talking to people on a day to day basis in a way that they can relate to but you're focusing on being useful to them. So for example with one of our clients who are in beef, a lot of their content is based on how to use the product, a lot of content on health, how to fit beef into your day to day diet, the benefit for beef but understanding it in a broader context so we are constantly looking to building trust with their audience so that you know the end result is when they buy a piece of meat out of the butcher or whatever, that they feel confident in the product and that’s what the fundamental function of social media does give to a brand.
Marius 05:38 And I think if I could just say something and I have a question, if you look on Facebook for example, and I read the name Buco, the trust terms of Buco is instantaneous, it’s there already I’m not thinking twice about ‘do I trust Buco and what they do’. Is it a long road to establish that trust? Even on social media or in general or can you do that quite quickly in a month or two or three.
Kyle 06:04 Look, I mean the answer to the question is that you build consistently over time, how quickly you gain that trust is in part based on your strategy so you know what do you talk about and how do you deal with people in the last discussion we had about social media, we talked a lot about how you respond to complaints and the poor reviews and the way you do that really has a massive impact on your trust. You know sometimes you’ll get really lucky and you decide to do something big and that instantly takes your trust to the next level but social media is a way of communicating to people and understanding that if your underlying brand is not sorted out then what you communicate to people is going to come across as inauthentic so big brands so let’s say you sponsor a school with a brand and you sponsor them on something that's a great way of building trust within the community. I mean a school is a great point of entry for trust and giving the school something valuable. We have a client in the health space, for example, we talk to them a lot about going into the community be it to a community centre or a church or something like that and giving talks around fitness and why fitness is good for you and they target women and they talk with women of all ages so they can go to something where there are older ladies there and they can talk to them a lot about how strength training can even help you with health problems even into your 60s and 70s. Those are all ways of building trust and then you use social media to actually just publicize that and to talk about it so you know I think that's the important thing to remember.
Marius 07:38 Just before I summarise it, I’d like to ask you another question and I think maybe it’s a fad, maybe it’s something new, maybe it’s wonderful, maybe it works, but I often see that if somebody asks somebody what do you do for a living, all of a sudden the so-called ‘social media influencer’ is there, this is their job, they influence social media. Is this really possible? Do you need Kim Kardashian to do this for you otherwise it won’t work. Is that a real job? Being a social media influencer?
Kyle 08:05 It is indeed a real job in the sense of that it's not normally a stand-alone one, it's normally a part of a person that has a reputation, so understanding that influencers are a trend but they've always been a trend. It’s just that social media has branded them as influencers but we've always related more to people than we have to brands. The guys that really nailed this from the start were Nike when they started endorsing big-name athletes. Now all that influencers are is an expression of that same practice but in a smaller way and there's a really great opportunity for people you know in the sense of that if you know if you're the type of brand where you're specifically, let's say for example, your lifestyle-orientated brands or maybe you're in the health space during the fitness phase or maybe you're just a restaurant or you're a nightclub or you're a bar or whatever, it's great to get people that appeal to your target market to frequent your establishment, use your products and get them to promote you and recommend you online. Now you have quite a discussion about how to go about influencers but the only thing I can tell you is that you must do it in an authentic way otherwise it will backfire so you get influencers out there that will literally do anything for money but that will eventually backfire. What you want to do is get people that genuinely believe in your product and services and then the promotion of that through their channels is going to be natural and seem more authentic and that's going to give it credibility.
Marius 09:31 It's going to be seamless and they have to at the end of the day also live your product. Not only will people see them you know when somebody goes to the supermarket and he wears a pair of Nike’s, that’s what you want. If Gordon Ramsey does the thing for you then he should go on television as he does with Checkers or Shoprite so that will work, that is authentic, it’s not plastic and I think that’s the important part of it.
Kyle 09:54 It's critical, look the thing with social media is that if you try and be inauthentic in any manner or form it can definitely backfire with you, it is the fundamental communication channel that along with the internet at large which has changed the way that brands have to market and advertise. So the thing is, it’s a great opportunity, It's also why you see large and big-name celebrities and sports stars starting to create their own brands because they’ve realised they have built this massive online following and they can leverage off that so they go and create their own brand. I was seeing a thing the other day that Maria Sharapova who isn't at the top of the rankings in tennis anymore, she now features in Entrepreneur Magazine in America because she's starting so many different businesses and you know based off her reputation. So the thing about it is, it's all about reputation, if someone has got a great reputation and it can work for you as a brand then you can do really, really well getting those influencers on board but do so that it needs to be authentic, I mean, they need to genuinely believe in the product, if they don't and you pay them money to do something then you know it will backfire on you.
Marius 11:01 Obviously. Kyle, thank you so much, a lot of questions but thank you for your time I mean these things people talk about it and we read it but you sit down and you discuss this with us and that’s the important thing. Before we say goodbye, where can our listeners get hold of you?
Kyle 11:15 So they can get me on my two websites, kylerolfe.co.za and ideapower.co.za or they can contact me on my mobile number, it’s 082 824 0077.
Marius 11:29 Kyle thanks a lot we look forward to talking to you next week.
Kyle 11:32 Great thanks so much Marius.