Updated: Jun 28
Let me clarify before we begin: I'm not suggesting that all sales-focused content is irrelevant or unimportant, all businesses rely on generating sales. However, striking a balance is crucial to ensure that your followers remain engaged and connected with your social media pages.
As a consumer, I often find myself scrolling through an endless sea of sponsored ads and sales-driven content. However, it's the accounts that stay above the waves by creating a genuine online community through authentic content that truly catch my attention and make me want to support their brand. Ultimately, I believe this community building approach is what leads to a sale or continued support from me.
Great example of this is University of Chichester's TikTok page, creating an online community for their current and potential students to share experiences and fun content without hard selling their programmes and courses. After all, if I was looking into university courses in today's world, I would be instantly attracted to their provisions after watching their on-trend and inclusive content.
So, let's jump into it!
In today's digital world, consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising messages and sponsored ads, making it easy for them to tune out. By creating a welcoming and inclusive environment on our social media pages, we can build brand loyalty and improve customer engagement which ultimately increases sales naturally. When followers feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences with your brand, it helps to build trust and provides valuable insights into how your products or services are perceived.
Social media also provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase their personality and business values, which is a HUGE plus when creating a trusting relationship between the brand and consumer. By sharing behind-the-scenes content or highlighting charitable efforts, you can demonstrate that your brand is more than just a product or service. This approach can differentiate your brand from competitors and establish a connection with your audience beyond just transactional relationships.
It's hard not to notice how businesses have been adapting to the new world of social media, especially since the introduction of TikTok. However, the businesses that have fought and earned the favour of TikTok's algorithm are often the ones that create relatable, candid, and often comedic content without pushing sales onto their viewers. Duolingo, which only started using TikTok in 2021, is a great example of this approach. By jumping on trends, creating fun and silly partnership videos with other brands, and developing a community of meme-loving followers, they ultimately created a huge spike in downloads and monthly active users - all without pushing people to download their app. Instead, they focused on creating a constant presence on people's 'FYP' by speaking TikTok's language.
I would highly recommend checking their TikTok page out...
It's understandable how easy it is to fall into the trap of creating sales-focused content like infographics or promoting discounts with "50% OFF!" codes for ease to keep your page saturated with content. I've been there myself while working for businesses without true direction. However, taking the time to reflect on your brand's online purpose and developing a solid social media plan can help you break free from this cycle. With a well-defined purpose, creating content becomes more natural and exciting, giving you the drive to consistently provide your followers with fresh and engaging content.
Overall, businesses should prioritise creating a sense of community on their social media pages instead of solely focusing on sales-driven content. Fostering connections, showcasing your brand's personality, and providing a welcoming online community can build brand loyalty, improve audience engagement, and differentiate your brand from competitors. So let's start building communities and creating a digital home for our brands. By doing so, we can connect with our audiences on a deeper level and create lasting relationships that go beyond just a sale.