Social media is no longer just a way to connect with your college friends or your great-aunt across the country: it is one of the most powerful marketing tools and drivers of world events today. Of all the CEOs in the world, perhaps the most successful at utilizing social media to grow his brand and customer loyalty is Elon Musk. He has been called a social media genius and social media icon.
What can we learn from Elon Musk and the impact social media has on world events? Read on!
Social Media Can “Spin” Real World Events
Elon Musk knows how to use Twitter and other social media platforms to connect with customers. They are not only invested in his company, but in him as a person. This means that when something goes wrong, they are ready to back him up.
For Elon Musk, real world problems can turn into branding opportunities. There is no shortage of stories at this point of Tesla cars bursting into flames. The result of these apparent disasters? Greater brand loyalty and customer advocates.
Instead of being a media disaster, Elon Musk’s ability to address concerns and offer a direct explanation, transformed these disasters to actually build brand confidence.
Dreams Are Social Media Currency
Elon Musk founded SpaceX with the idea to colonize Mars. While the success of that remains to be seen, the frenzy of interest it generated on social media is hard to deny. In other words, it created buzz, reach, interest, and backers. What started as a crazy dream could one day become a reality.
Putting something out there on social media is an important way to connect with like-minded individuals or people who need a dream to believe in. Done well, social media is a powerful tool to garner financial support, public interest, and media attention.
Social Media Can Be Used for Business Growth
While social media is generally thought of as a way to connect with customers and build brand loyalty,it can also be used to start anew. With one tweet Elon Musk could attract some of the world’s top talent, the required funding, and a built-in base of loyal customers for nearly any venture he could think of.
That is how powerful a strong social media platform, and customer engagement is for growth. Social media doesn’t exist in a virtual bubble — used well, it can move billions and shift a business landscape.
Personal Branding is More Important than Company Branding
Elon Musk’s personal twitter account has 46.2 million followers, while the accounts of Tesla and SpaceX have 10.1 million and 17 million, respectively. Many entrepreneurs allow their personal accounts to be engulfed by brand messaging. Musk does the opposite.
By building his personal brand first, Musk has ensured loyal followers for any business venture he choses. The personal approach is better not only for building loyalty to his current companies, but also any future developments.
Social Media Provides Essential Feedback
Engaging with consumers is the fastest way to receive real-world feedback. Elon Musk’s personal social media strategy allows him to test ideas and receive direct feedback faster than traditional market research.
Actively seeking out and listening to negative feedback has actually become a hallmark of Musk’s personal brand. He points out that people tend to avoid it because it is painful to hear, but it is this feedback that drives growth.
Social media is the most dynamic source of data available today. Utilizing it for continuous feedback provides the opportunity for continuous growth.
Authenticity Builds Loyalty
The CEO turned public thought leader is not how we normally think of established CEOs, but that is exactly what Elon Musk has done. He has shown the business world that honesty, authenticity, and yes, even mistakes and frivolity, fost empathy and build loyalty and inspire a global following.
Putting It All Together
Social media puts the world in direct, nearly constant connection. The ways of the world and the way of marketing will never be the same. The ability to inspire real-world change or move the masses with a single tweet no longer needs to be reserved to an elite few.
Elon Musk has shown the world that building a personal brand and building a community are more important than even product performance. Social media is already influencing business decisions, driving consumer choices and guiding future development. Social media does not exist in a bubble.
The only question remains: how will your business use social media to influence the real world to build loyalty and enhance company growth?