By Anton Davidenko, UK Head of Digital and Social Media, Moonlight Media

The value of Social Media for business is not a question anymore. It’s like a snowball, which keeps growing and attracting more and more interest. People spend hours on different Social Media platforms searching for new experience, advice or recommendations. It’s powerful and meaningful, ignoring it would be a huge mistake and missing opportunity. If your customers are on Social Media, you should be there too.

The power of influence

It is important for any business to become an influencer within the target markets or communities. Being visible and heard is valuable not only from the reputational perspective but it can also deliver practical outcomes by generating sales and business growth. It’s not so easy to do from the scratch and will definitely take time. For a starter you can find people who are already influencers and try to understand what makes them important for others. This will give you an idea what to focus on and what to do next.

The power of content

One of the ways to attract people’s interest is content creation and sharing. Make sure you understand the difference between content and advertising. You shouldn’t talk only about your company or how good it is. As an alternative for this, think about branded content and things related to your brand but never do hard sales on Social Media. The quality of content you share will define your future relationships with the audience or its absence. The type of content may and should vary. Use text, photo, video and audio, everything that can help you to appeal and build the profile.

The power of engagement

If you were able to gain Social Media audience, then it’s a good time to start engaging with them. Ask questions, start discussions, reply and support conversations. All these actions will contribute to your positive perception and consumer-friendly atmosphere. Always try to be responsive, positive and helpful, just what you’d expect from the company you wanted to engage with.

The power of measurement

The good thing about Social Media communications is that they can be measured. From basic quantitative metrics like your number of followers, likes and re-posts, to more sophisticated analysis of the sentiment and level of engagement — everything is available at your disposal to measure results and performance. You can use lots of different tools and services to monitor the Social Media environment and keep yourself updated.

There are a lot of examples when companies apply these powers of Social Media successfully as well as illustrations of when it backfired. Keeping that in mind will help you to avoid mistakes and use a more serious approach. Remember, you cannot make people stop talking about you. But you can be the first who will hear them.

Anton Davidenko is head of digital and social media at Moonlight Media in the U.K. Contact him via Twitter: @antdav

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