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Social Media: Presence vs. Interaction
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s been stated no less than three trillion times: every brand needs to have a presence on social media. In some aspect, some application, a brand needs to be a part of this marketing tool. It’s no longer an option, but now a cost-of-entry for brands to compete. This part is pretty much common brand knowledge in today’s business world. So moving forward, the conversation has shifted. To be more specific around what is successful in social media and what feels, well, fake.

Today, simply having a presence on social media isn’t enough. Yes, it’s required and needed, but customers want more. If a brand isn’t delivering, the competition probably is. Social media has grown from a business card, an updated waiting room coffee table, to a way customers interact and engage with a brand. And they want a two-way conversation. Actually more than a conversation; they want a relationship. One that feels real and personal and creates a nice happy feeling for the customer and a new brand enthusiast for the company.

Presence: Yes, brands need to be present on social media. This includes making sure social media accounts are up-to-date and relevant for the customer. This is where brands are able to push information to customers in a format and vehicle they want to receive it. This is not to say that brands have to play in every platform, but the ones they do should really shine a light on who and what the brand is. A presence is mandatory.

Interaction: This is where social media starts to provide a game-changing benefit for the brand. Interaction comes with brands not only pushing information to customers, but playing alongside them to have one-on-one conversations. It’s the brands that promote other users' content, aren’t afraid to state what they like and don’t like, and truly show their brand colors. Many consumer brands assume this is done through their social media customer service accounts, but they shouldn’t stop there. Customers want to have interaction that goes deeper than a conversation, and that happens only when there is a problem. Interaction is like friends talking consistently, sharing ideas, and really being part of a group.

Understanding the difference between presence and interaction with social media can make the difference in how successful this tool is for a brand. Of course, for those just starting out, go small and create the best presence possible. Once this foundation has been set, slowly and surely work on interaction. These two tools combined can help brands be happy and healthy in the social media world. 

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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