Connecting through social media


The evolution of marketing can be seen as very complex from the outside looking in. Think about it, the best way to reach a customer used to be by riding a pony for miles and miles, then we went to radio ads, then to TV commercials and print, and now we have arrived in the era that not even David Ogilvy (widely considered “the father of advertising”) could have predicted: social media.

Over the past couple of years I have built social media platforms for Chicago nonprofit organizations, school organizations and Fortune 500 companies including United States Gypsum and the Effie award-winning  Potashcorp. I have had the opportunity to learn about social media from both the business-to-consumer and from the business-to-business perspective. I’ve learned that social media is both a convenient and highly effective way to connect with customers, but how can businesses use this tool to their advantage? I have created a list, and checked it twice, and came up with the top three ways that brands can connect with customers through the world of social media.

1. It’s SOCIAL media. Say it with me, soooccial media.

Sometimes a business or a contractor creates a Twitter or Facebook page and the only thing that they post about are their products and services – how are your social media followers supposed to respond to that? When you start to post on social media, make sure that your post are actually social. Ask questions, create topics, and create an atmosphere that is inviting to the customer. Create your post to be centered on customers rather than products. No one likes a one-sided conversation, which is exactly what happens when majority of your post are trying to sell products.

2. Respond to the noise

Now that you’re creating post that are more customer orientated rather than product/service, there’s a great possibility that you’ll be seeing your followers engaging with your post more often. No pressure – you got this. Now is the time that you have to start responding to your customers’ posts. When you respond, realize that your response helps build your brand’s image. If your brand has the identity of being fast and efficient, there is no greater way to display that than by responding to post ASAP, no later than 12 hours after the post. How you respond to potential customers is exactly how they will perceive your company.

3. Look. Listen. Adapt

Most social media pages, such as Twitter and Facebook, provide a wonderful tool called analytics. These analytics provide insight about your page’s performance and also the personality of your fan base. It is essential that you use this tool to have a higher chance of success. Sometimes the adaption that you need to do is simply changing the time that you post. Facebook’s insight provides you the time that followers are online – maybe you’re posting at 9:00 AM as opposed to 12:00 PM, the time that most of your followers are online. Small adaptions can have a great impact on your engagement rates.

Christian Gray


Christian Gray is a senior majoring in marketing with a focus in promotion and communications and a minor in economics. He is president of the Student Activities Board. When he’s not planning events or doing schoolwork, you’ll catch him watching something sports related (#KOBE) or vibing out to music. His career goal growing up was to be Batman. He won’t tell you if he was successful on that mission, but let’s be real ­– have you ever seen him and Batman in the same place before?


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