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You run a business. Or you're responsible for marketing a business. Good for you.

You realize that social media is important to reach existing customers and attract new ones. That's smart.

And your ambitious: You want your social media marketing to be the best. Not just 'as good as' your competition, but the kind of social media account that people want to follow.

So..what next? What do you focus on?

The good news is that you are asking the right questions, and reading the right post. The magnificent MESMERO will share some interesting insights into what consumers claim they believe to be the characteristics for 'best in class' social media from a business.

Sprout Social conducted a survey of over a thousand US consumers and asked them what are the most important attributes of businesses or organizations they follow on social media.

The answers below.

The first thing that you will see is that you need to commit to and serve customers on social media. The top three responses all related to how a business uses social media to communicate, respond, and support existing and new customers.

This may require a cultural shift in priorities and understanding internally within your business. This is not something that a funny post, clever video, or interesting photo will do for you. To be the 'best in class' in social media requires a full time focus and commitment. An external agency or digital marketing firm can't help you as much as you can help yourself in this case.

No one said it was going to be easy.

Beginning with the fourth response, the importance of the message, creative, and story that you tell on social media begins to become important. Creating 'memorable content', having a distinct personality or telling a compelling story underline the importance of a brand strategy and messaging or creative on social media. This is where an agency or consultant can help you if you don't have the experience, insights, or resources to do it within your company.

Put simply, a business or organization that desires an amazing social media outreach must develop a strategy that is operational and creative:

  • An internal process and ongoing commitment to provide timely and helpful communications with social media audiences.

  • A story-telling strategy that communicates your brand values and benefits in a unique and interesting way.

The responses from this Spout Social study are, in fact, nothing new: these are the same priorities that social media users have been telling us for years! But they are still, nonetheless, difficult and - to be quite frank - not something that can be done exceptionally well without significant investments of time and money. Yikes!

And that brings up the painful reality that for many small businesses, these sort of investments are (potentially) beyond their capabilities - at least completely. But take these responses and consider what you and your organization can do within your capabilities and start to take 'baby steps' and use these consumer priorities as your north star of where you want to be, even if some of this is not entirely feasible or practical for your company or organization at this time.

In other words...take a deep breath, and just work on incremental improvements in responding to comments or messages on social media, and be self-critical and creative when it comes to how you tell your story.


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