The terms social-led or social-first brand refer to an organization that puts social media at the forefront of its operations.
As consumers expect honest, transparent, and personal interactions on social media, companies should consider the social-first approach. But what social-first brand advantages can a business or organization benefit from if they go that route?
Be in the know.
We’ve moved on from “photos, or it didn’t happen” to “if it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen.” Being a social-first brand allows you to tune into what people are discussing, what prospects want, what is trending, and what is driving valuable clicks and engagement.
Social-first brands have direct insights on topics that can be integrated into their own social media and marketing strategy. Whether brands choose to use memes or fold their products into the hottest trends (anyone remember the butter charcuterie board trend of 2022?), knowing what is viral and grabbing consumers’ attention is important and can help shape your social efforts. It also helps to shape your efforts by understanding each of the various social media platforms and their core audiences, so your brand knows where to dedicate time spent.
But how is this done? Outside of a social media manager “living” on every social platform at all times, simplify the process through social listening. Social listening is a method of researching and discovering more about your audience and their interests by monitoring not just your own social channels but topics relevant to your niche, overall trends in your area of service or sales, and, of course, your competitors.
Brands also have the opportunity to receive direct feedback from consumers. Using social media, brands can listen to what customers say about their products, learn more about pain points, and take that valuable data back to the team for product or marketing enhancements. In addition, through a social-first approach, brands can listen to what consumers are saying that they want and identify key pain points that they may be able to address.
Social media is a fantastic medium for telling your brand’s story, educating your audience, and building meaningful community connections. Think of it like this: while your website or phone line can convey all your organization’s information, products, or services, social media can be the icebreaker that drives users there. By listening, gathering data, and building a social media community, customers are usually more inclined to trust a brand and spend their ad dollars with them versus competitors who may be more hands-off or singularly focused on selling.
Is it time to become a social-first brand?
Social-first brands help shift the focus from the company to the customer, offering an experience that feels much more personalized and catered to the consumer. Studies show that 80% of businesses that lead with customer-centric strategies outperform businesses that don’t.