A Simple Social Media Strategy

January 24, 2013

What is your social media strategy? Do you have a social media strategy? And is it working?

My last post addressed the growing popularity of Twitter and the need to determine which social media applications may be right for your company. However, for those relatively unfamiliar with the social media landscape, the idea of online marketing can be somewhat daunting.

Perhaps you’ve started a blog and don’t have any comments. Or you have a Twitter handle but no one is following you. Most likely, you told your colleagues and friends about your online presence and asked them to follow you, so you do have a handful of followers. Now what?

Put yourself in the mindset of your customers. Why are they interested in your company/products/services? What will draw them in? What will retain their attention?

Blog. Post. Tweet.

Engage. Interact. Network. Join.

First, provide information in your area of expertise.  For example, if your business is home restoration, outline steps for consumers to take when a disaster occurs. A financial services company can provide tips for retirement planning. A massage business might focus on the benefits of drinking water.

Once you determine what type of information to present, think about your tone. Social media tends to be more informal than business writing, so you want to sound knowledgeable, yet friendly and helpful.

Ask questions, offer contests and deals, provide open-ended discussion points, ask your customers about their experience(s) with your organization and what you can do to improve — all in an attempt to ENGAGE your customers. The key is interaction. People become more engaged when they can voice their opinion or offer information in return – when they feel they are being heard. The days of presenting your information to customers in a vacuum are long gone.

Join groups, post comments on other blogs, participate in discussions, and become a part of your online industry community. Follow people on Twitter and FaceBook who may be interested in your products/services. They all won’t follow you back, but many of them will.

Lastly, integrate your online efforts with your other marketing – publications, advertising, media outreach etc.

The bottom line is this: Your online interaction is directly proportional to the amount of success you will experience with online marketing efforts.

 


Are You Still Behind if You Don’t Tweet?

September 4, 2012

If you feel like your company is behind everyone else in utilizing technology, you’re not alone, and chances are you’re not as behind as you think.

Twenty years ago, it seemed as if every company but mine had a web site. So I created one. From the kudos I received, I realized we were right in the flow, we weren’t behind at all, that was just my perception. When I publicized the new web site, I unintentionally perpetuated the notion that EVERYONE (except you) had a web site.

Now the onus has shifted to Twitter. So many people tell me they don’t like Twitter, don’t understand it, and even think it’s stupid, but they know they need to get their company on there, because EVERYONE tweets except them.  You are not the exception, although in another year or two, you likely will be if Twitter sticks around. (Some people will disagree with that last statement and insist that you ARE way behind, and they’re entitled to their opinion; I just don’t agree with that yet.)

So figure it out. Dig into Twitter and start using it. Take a class. Do research. Ask other people how it works. I began using it simply because I didn’t understand it and wanted to know what it was all about and why it was becoming so popular. To my amazement, I became a big fan.

I offer the same advice for all the other innovations out there, way too numerous to name here. I started to list some but then realized it would be impossible to list everything and I’d likely leave some out – like the one that just launched yesterday that I haven’t heard about yet. Don’t forget about the industry-specific applications and groups either.

As you integrate Twitter, FaceBook, a blog, other applications and social media into your company’s communications, remember that integrate is the key word. Your communications vehicles, modes, programs, plans – whatever you call them – should all work together. Your publications, press releases, web site, blog, speeches, Twitter and FaceBook accounts, keywords, conventions, events, outreach, etc. should be publicizing a consistent message or messages. They should reflect your company’s philosophies and goals, and enhance your reputation. They should be integrated throughout the company programs, so every employee and every endeavor is aligned.

This is a really exciting time for those of us in the marketing/communications field. After all, effective communication is all about building relationships, and there are more ways to do that than ever before.


%d bloggers like this: