Are you spending many hours on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn not to mention Youtube or Google plus ? Do you have a Facebook page and are you sending out autoresponders using a system such as Mailchimp ( which a very dear friend of mine who isn’t very technical insists on calling chipmunk)? And how many youtube videos have you uploaded?
Why are you spending hours on social media?
Everybody is telling you you must get onto Facebook and twitter etc but if you don’t know why then you are wasting your time and energy. I came across one person on Facebook the other day they had nearly a thousand friends but had not posted a status for about three months. He must have spent a lot of effort to get to that level of followers but then let them down by not following up with them and providing valuable information.
Why Do You Use Social Media?
- to build up trust and a long term relationship with your customers. When life was completely online you could pass the time with shopkeepers and get to know who you could trust… we then to the convenience of the supermarket ( I wouldn’t recommend trying to chat to the assistants there it will probably result in you being evicted and them being docked some wages for wasting time!). Online you do not know who to trust and as we all know from the news stories of hackers and fraudsters that the internet gives them an easier opportunity to take people ” for a ride”. As you get to know and interact with people on a personal level on social media people will open up to you and drop their suspicion and guard, and when they can see the value in what you have to offer if it meets their needs and concerns they will buy from you.
- to get feedback on new products or services. On forums I have seen people asking for feedback, to complete surveys to request samples etc. A way to get virtually instant feedback on an advert is to place alternative adverts on google’s pay per click and compare the “click through rate” on the alternatives… choose the one with the higher rate and you will have a more effective offline advert, rather than waiting to find out which works best .
- to give immediate responses to concerns that customers have.. it is an opportunity to make good a problem. Get it wrong and you have a pr disaster. get it right and you will enhance your reputation. Stuff happens. It is often how a business deals with a problem that can make the biggest impact on a brand’s reputation… better to take a one time hit than a long term drop in reputation.
- to have the opportunity to sell your products and services. You can promote specific exclusive offers to your list or friends, that will make them feel more special.
- make it interesting and people will share with their friends reaching a much greater body of people than you would otherwise do.
- to be found by the search engines such as google and drive people to your website
- as part of a coordinated marketing campaign
- to publicise and give valuable content to your followers/ friends circle
- to play farmville and bejewelled and talk to your mates. But be careful that your personal messages and activity are consistent with your business brand.
How Do You make your social media effective?
- Link up your blog posts to your social media using something like tweetdeck or hootsuite, rather than spend ages flitting from the different media. Be wary though that LinkedIn has a more professional image than twitter, so you won’t necessarily want to tweet that you’ve just eaten five beefburgers on the trot and feel sick and have that automatically posted to your linked in account. Fortunately you can choose to exclude certain posts to certain “streams” ( i.e social media accounts) using hootsuite and tweetdeck.
- blog/ tweet/ post on topic using your key words in the copy…. but not all the time, people like to know that you are a real person.
- interact with people on your friends list, particularly if they make relevant comments or ask questions. If a potential customer asked you a question would you ignore them and get on with what you are doing? I don’t think so… unless you happen to be one of the bar staff at my local pub of course.
- post comments on blog forums and join groups. For example for therapists there is a new Facebook group set up by Tracy Mason do check it out.
- Be clear in your own mind about the purpose of your presence online using social media and be consistent.
- If you find other people’s content that is relevant you can easily share or retweet that and it gives you credibility even though you haven’t spent ages writing it :0).