with added “Twitter, more than feeding your cat”
Let me start by assuming you have registered a Facebook (Fan) Page for your business/have created a business Twitter account, … now comes the question: How can I effectively operate and maintain this Social Media presence?
Social media has become an integral part of how customers interact with companies and brands, notably Facebook & Twitter – making these mediums an increasingly important communications channel. Most enterprises use social media for customer acquisition, retention and loyalty.
Primarily, any use of social media should be to promote your product/service, with the goal being to complete a current or future sale (conversion).
Added benefits of Social Media include being able to;
- keep your “brand” visible
- providing customers with product/service updates
- promote pre-notification of sales/promotions
- notify of any unexpected operational changes
- provide exclusive content/offers
- publish general brand Public Relations (PR)
- answering of Customers Service enquiries.
Facebook allows you to post updates directly to your Fan’s timeline (pages of people who “liked” you) so you really have an obligation to provide details/content that they can appreciate or better still “like” or “share”.
Therefore your goal on Facebook should be provide “sharable” content, or what are commonally known as “Social Objects”. Simply put, you want people to share/like/re-tweet your posts/updates. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be “sales” releated or on topic…
There’s a reason it’s called Social Media, not Sales Media.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but: people don’t want to be friends with brands. For the privilege of including your updates in youyr fans Facebook/Twitter timeline, you are given access to their data.
Apart from their email address, there’s also a huge amount of general user data provided in your Facebook Insights tab. As long as your updates remain relevant to your followers they will continue to provide the added benefit of “Liking” you on Facebook or “Following” you on Twitter.
When you become irrelevant or uninteresting, they may un-friend/un-follow/un-like. This is nothing personal, it’s just Social Media. It may be a business transaction, but remember any salesmen asks questions and starts a conversation – first. Then the “engaging” conversation should continue. If it doesn’t, then someone has to end it, right?
What’s the trick? Often you will hear the 80/20 rule being used. The premise being for every 80% sales pitch you make, you should include 20% off-brand conversation. I would suggest you switch that to 20/80 rule. 20% of your updates to include product/service information, the rest to provide information (links, re-tweets, re-posts) to content that is related to your brand – or even completely unrelated (think pictures of animals or cool gadgets). Similar to radio, tease what’s coming up, entertain your ‘listeners, provide sharable objects (fun facts, trivia, etc) and give stuff away (physical or intellectual).
May 4, as you may or may not know, is National Star Wars Day.
This year (2010) the occasion was also marked by the folks at BlackBerry, who updated their corporate Twitter account to read: “May the 4th Be With You.”
What does BlackBerry have to do with Star Wars? Not much, other than selling an app that turns your Torch or Tour into a faux light sabre. But that didn’t stop the tweet from being one of the company’s most effective – a phenomenon Brian Wallace, VP-global digital at BlackBerry parent Research In Motion, had to try to explain to colleagues.”I remember getting emails from my peers asking me why we would post such a thing and was this why we created our Twitter channel,” he wrote in an email interview:
“My response was that this post reached over 150,000 people, 98% of the posts were positive, most tweets made a positive association with our brand, and it drove a 15% increase in our followers. Now what’s the value of all that to our company? For the cost of $0.00 we have increased positive brand sentiment, generated a measurable earned-media value and now have 20,000+ more people who I can share product-related information to. Not a bad ROI.”
Mathew Creamer, Advertising Age, Nov. 29, 2010
What should you post to your Facebook/Twitter feeds?
Social Objects (Things people talk about/share), Your products/services, related industry news, Customer Service replies, positive comments about your brand, specials, and even … competitions.
Here’s some examples of possible Tweets, if you own/manage a clothes shop.
“See The Grammy’s last night? What about Charlize Theron’s dress? We have a very similar style in-stock! Come in to have a look, today.”
“RT: @Instyle See @JessicaBiel and Colin Farrell at the Los Angeles premiere of @TotalRecall ow.ly/cGYEe”
“We had a huge shipment arrive today … but what’s inside these boxes? pic.twitter.com/HsfJum2j”
“Hi @customer, we’d be more than happy to help with your purchase, drop-in – we’re open until 9pm tonight.”
“Thanks for sharing! RT: @customer Bought some awesome Summer pants today @yourbusiness!”
WHO should create posts to your Facebook/Twitter feeds?
Preferably a person of some maturity, who has a stake in your business. Although this is a social medium, it is a representation of a business – your business. You want this to be as professional as any document used to represent your company. This needs to be the “voice” of your company – think Readers Digest. Coversational, yet always professional.
What are your Social Media Goals?
Our High School motto was: ”nihil boni sine labore” (nothing achieved without hard work) … and so begins the road with Social Media.
What may begin as a simple extension of your brand marketing, may soon develop into a Public Relations channel, or a Customer Service medium, all the time engaging in an on-going interaction (or conversation) with your potential market. SM connections may well become loyal customers, current customers may become brand advocates, and (hopefully) people who have yet to engage with you, will interact – leading to multiple conversions (purchases) and an on-going customer relationship. What’s your strategy?
- Set achievable goal(s)
- Regularly measure your progress
- Review & adapt as necessary
- You may set a goal of increasing Fans (likes) to extend your brand awareness on-line.
- Facebook has a built-in analytics monitor (Insights) which monitors your followers, and measures “Likes”,
- “Reach”, “Talking About This”, and even “Check In” statistics.
- Regular monitoring will allow you an insight into how your (on-line) market reacts to your updates/offers and
- how you can best taylor your web-based promotions to generate engagement; shares, likes, & purchases.
If you’d like to know more about building your SM presence, and how integration with your print campaigns and E-mail Marketing can provide measurable benefits for your sales, you should connect with … a Social Media Expert?