What role does Social Media play in Business Alignment and Brand Loyalty?
Social Media has been at the center of my career for many years now.
I have seen how people have been shaped by it.
I have seen how businesses and their marketing strategies have been shaped by it.
We can see how it has changed and grown into a channel that connects.
Connects people with other people.
Connects people with brands.
Connects people with industries.
Connects people with the realities of the world.
We have seen it grow from a novelty to a part of our lives.
What has made this journey so interesting to me is watching the different human aspects of it all.
One that has been talked a lot about, especially in recent time is the aspect of authenticity.
Being real. Being yourself.
I will be very blunt and say that I hope this doesn’t turn out to be just another “hype” and “trend” that is good and popular to talk about now and then disappears, like we have seen with many other topics.
I really don’t believe it will disappear. I believe that it is one that we will invest in and nurture.
I say that as I see that more and more people are indeed recognizing the importance of and yearning for genuine, meaningful human interactions in a digital world and a platform such as social media, that because of its “facelessness” is an easy gate for people to ‘hide’ behind.
Many people use it to portray a version of themselves instead of who they really are and what they actually stand for, creating this chasm.
A “false identity” if you will.
That is the reality. We have all experienced it from different people and in different ways.
Sounds like a fairly simple and easy concept, doesn’t it?
We’ve heard it many times.
I have written about it many times.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that what is going on in social media is partly because many people are driven by expectations, by what others regard as noticeable and important determined by the followers, likes, shares, comments, etc. received. We as humans are social beings that look for that recognition and attention.
But, the truth behind it is that those seaming expectations are not built on a view of reality.
Moreover, there is also the other side of the coin, where actual authenticity resides.
People that cultivate relationships based on a true sense of self, a more genuine and relatable nature that instills trust – where all aspects come into play and are in harmony with their purpose.
This brings me to the point of Alignment.
This word has been on my mind for a while now.
Alignment is when what you think, say, feel and do are in synch and consistent with your beliefs and your purpose.
But what does alignment offer us?
Well, as John C. Maxwell points out:
“When values, thoughts, feelings, and actions are in alignment, a person becomes focused and character is strengthened.” John C. MaxwellJohn C. Maxwell
If we really want to make a difference, if we really want to make an impact – we should first start with ourselves. Define who we are. Define our beliefs, principles and standards. Define our own persona.
“Alignment begins with a constituency of one. These are the individuals whose substance is real, pure and nonnegotiable. They share their vulnerabilities and fears in complement to their strengths. They are comfortable weaving all parts of their lives together in an integrated way. Our level of effectiveness, contribution and integrity of work and life are in direct correlation with our level of integration, self-actualization and total alignment of body, mind and spirit.”Kristin S. Kaufman
Let your own “values, thoughts, feelings and actions” be your own message.
This translates in your Social Media presence when you let your persona, your profile, your message, the content you create, share and re-post, your words (comments) and your voice advocate for those factors in a consistent manner – without pushing them onto others.
That is real.
That is genuine.
That is you.
This applies to Social Media and Businesses as well.
Generally speaking, businesses (all aspects and departments) need to be aligned with their business goals, vision and purpose to reach their maximum potential and desired outcome.
This includes alignment between those business goals and the company’s Social Media strategy.
“If you believe in something greater than your product and you align the behaviors and actions that reinforce that, that is worth talking about.”… “When an organization, and all the people within the organization think, do, and say the same thing, now you’ve got complete organizational alignment. And this is a marketing plan we can talk about.”Ron Tite (Source: Bethany Johnson, “Build a Great Brand: Align What You Think, Do, and Say” CMI)
- Align your Brand with the right Objective.
- Align your Brand with the right Message.
- Align your Brand with the right Target (Personas).
- Align your Brand with the right Strategy.
- Align your Brand with the right Content.
- Align your Brand with the right Platforms.
- Align your Brand with the right Influencers
All of the above have to be followed of course by a Tracking system to understand, adjust and optimize your efforts.
Social Media is basically divided in 2 sections:
- The Social side of Social Media which leads to building strong, committed Relationships with your audience/consumers. This includes engaging with your consumers, offering them value and top-level customer support.
- The Media side of Social Media which focuses on Sales (ROI). This includes organic and paid promotion / advertisement.
When you as a Brand have effectively aligned the aspects above and all its areas, you can effectively convey your vision and appeal to your audience making your brand relatable and build a bond and an emotional connection with them.
This will lead to consumers following and trusting your Brand and your products or services and ultimately directing their buying decision.
The higher the level of ‘love’ for a Brand, the stronger the consumer is set on buying from that specific Brand and the less likely to change to another one.
This alignment effectively shows what a Brand is about.
This alignment effectively shows what a Brand stands for.
This alignment closes the gap of disconnect between Brands and their Audience/Consumers.
This alignment creates the basis leading to Brand Loyalty and Brand Intimacy.
When businesses and their people are “on the same page” – with shared and aligned goals, a consistent and intact vision and core value system – and they effectively translate this to their audience and consumers via their social media strategy, they will achieve better performance and profitable results.
In conclusion, it is important that you align your Social Media approach with your Business goals as it will guide and make your social media strategy more effective and ultimately result in optimized results and growth.
… and isn’t that the ultimate goal… growth?
“Alignment is a condition in which the key elements of an organization – its people, strategy, customers, and processes – work in concert to serve its primary purpose, thereby increasing value for stakeholders”George Labovit
Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!
Good vibes only and have a great day!
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