There is no need to talk about and validate the value of Twitter and Facebook to your business; if you still needed convincing you wouldn’t be reading this post, but perhaps could find some value in one of our earlier posts about generating sales through social media (an oldie but a goodie).
So, with that out of the way, there is a good chance at this point you are in one of two places with your Social Media strategy: 1) You are trying to fix/improve it or 2) You are in the infant stages of development and are looking for guidance. Well guess what? Either way we have you covered. If you integrate our tips into your current or infantile strategy we guarantee you’ll avoid that infamous Social Media writers-block that we hear about from so many entrepreneurs and professionals alike, not to mention avoiding some Blunders of Social Media we have talked about before.
So here it is, in plain English, a simple but effective How-to guide that will ensure you will always be producing Status updates and Tweets worth reading…
Get your Fans/Followers Involved
We have said it before, but we will say it again, Social Media is about interaction; it should be a dialogue as opposed to a monologue. The best status updates and Tweets you can send are the ones that promote interaction with your fans. Facebook provides you with more tools to organize things like Contests and Polls but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your loyal Twitter followers out of the fun; you simply have to be a little more creative. Asking your followers on Twitter a few questions in the form of Trivia is a great strategy, and encouraging them to share or Retweet something is a very effective way to tap into their network. Retweets can lead to great success for your business as they present you with an opportunity to have your business exposed to fresh eyes and new potential customers. Status updates that encourage your fans to submit pictures or video of them interacting with your business or product is often a great way to encourage interaction and dialogue.
This category is often a necessary evil of social media marketing, it’s the generic status updates and tweets that you see every business using. Mentioning holidays, famous quotes, current events and general open ended questions all fall into this category. What is good about the generic content is that it requires very little thought, and it can be scheduled well in advance (you could have salutation for every major holiday planned for the entire year all in one day). What is bad about generic content is that it requires very little thought… so, it is difficult to create very much interaction with these updates. Our advice for dealing with the generic: First and foremost keep it to a bare minimum, and second try to make it as creative, funny or witty as possible; you know everyone is going to be mentioning a particular holiday, so do your best to make your tweet or update stand out.
Promote your Website
Ultimately driving individuals to your website, is a major outcome that most businesses are seeking to accomplish as a result of their social media marketing efforts. So, if you make a major change to your website, whether it be a new design or launch of an ebook, to the updating of a price or new content on your blog, these updates make for great content that most of your fans will be interested in exploring. After all, they wouldn’t be a fan or follower if they were not interested in your business. Additionally a great strategy to use when crafting these particular status updates or tweets is to ask the opinion of your followers on the change, product or the content itself you are promoting.
Remember, there is true value to be found on social media if you’re constantly thinking about your purchasing funnel. Through channels like Twitter and Facebook you can promote your website and only strengthen your bond with the customers and guide them further down the funnel.
Keep it Exclusive
Fans love unique deals, special offers and exclusive information that you only share with them. Updates and tweets that take advantage of this fact have a HUGE potential to be shared and go viral. For example, sending a tweet that offers an exclusive deal at your store-front for twitter followers is not only going to get retweeted, but also promote loyalty among your followers as you are showing them you are willing to reward your fans on an exclusive basis- of course, the same applies to Facebook fans. Product launches and sneak-peaks for only your followers and fans also do the same to promote sharing and loyalty. Giving your fans the opportunity to occasionally exclaim, “That’s why I follow these guys!” certainly isn’t a bad thing!
So there you have it, follow these tips and you can rest assured that your updates and tweets will be interesting, provocative and viral. Above everything, remember one all-encompassing rule: If you can be unique, inspiring, witty and informative your updates will never appear stale or unforgettable.
Do you regularly use any of these tips when you interact with your fans and followers? We would love to hear about them!
Your business may be breaking the cardinal rule of, well, business and you might not even realise it. Regardless of industry or market type, there is one thing that all successful businesses have in common and that’s the formulation and diligent application of Strategy. All too often do we see incredibly successful companies, who have fought their way to the top through the use of carefully thought-out strategy, making unfortunate mistakes when comes to their social media marketing approach. Bottom line here is that without taking the time to formulate a clear social strategy you might find your business making these 7 Unfortunate Social Media Strategy Blunders…
1. Frequency Inconsistency
“Our Social Media guy went on Vacation for 2 weeks so we put our Twitter account on hiatus.”
A lot of experts will tell you that consistency is a cornerstone of Social Media Strategy. And they are correct; if your social voice isn’t consistent then the people that look to your business as subject matter expert, or even a source of a daily chuckle or interesting article will begin to look else ware. Think of it like this, if you had a really good friend disappear for a two months and then call you up like nothing happened, wouldn’t you be a bit confused or even hurt? The same rules apply to social media, and if you break the rule of consistency even once, the setback to your social momentum could be devastating.
2. The Hard Push
“Check-out every article, interesting or not, I read this morning over an extra-large double frap”.
You have heard the saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, well when it comes to social media strategy the saying should go, “if you have nothing interesting to say, don’t say it at all”. Retweeting or sharing everything your fans say is not a wise strategy, nor is sharing every article you read or updating your status relentlessly. Remember, there is a fine line between Engaging and Spamming; ask yourself “If this wasn’t my business, would I find this piece of information interesting?” If the answer is no, then put down your Smartphone or close your laptop.
3. The Soft Push
“Check out the one article I read this month! Stay tuned for my next hyperlink, coming to you in 3 weeks!”
If you are unwilling to commit daily to monitoring and updating your Social Media accounts, hire someone who is. The value of being in the space is diminished to the point of being null when your contribution to the space is akin to being a fly on a wall.
4. Lazy Grammar
“LOL we got a salez on 2day every1 !!1!”
you must remember that even though you are updating a social status for a business you are speaking not as yourself, but as that brand. You would never publish a press release without carefully proofreading it first, so why should a status update or tweet be any different? Before your first status update or tweet you should clearly identify the type of voice from which your brand should speak and never stray away from your Brand Personality.
5. Brand Personality
“Here are my personal thoughts on this highly controversial subject…”
You must quickly realise that all of your customers are unique individuals, and just because they like your brand doesn’t mean they personally stand for everything YOU stand for. As mentioned in the previous Blunder, you need to treat your business’s social media accounts separately from your personal ones. Make sure to be politically conscious and to never share something that could alienate your fans, followers or customers.
6. Keep your Friends Close
“It’s a good idea to follow anyone and everyone to get your clout up”
Your follower count doesn’t have to be astronomically high for you to see a return on your social media marketing. It’s not a case of ‘less is more’ but rather a case of ‘quality over quantity’. If your follower list or fan page is full of accounts that haven’t contributed in months, then you might want to reconsider this particular aspect of your social strategy.
7. Undeveloped SOP’s
“That was a really nice compliment; I think I will send them an ipad!”
Businesses that do not clearly develop standard operating procedures for social media are doomed to look inconsistent and unprofessional. Everything from the types of information to share, the type of people your brand will follow, the procedures for dealing with complaints and compliments and the types of status updates you will share, has to be clearly identified and made official.
It is absolutely essential that your business accepts that Social Media Marketing needs just as much strategy as any other form of marketing, that is, if you want to see a return on your investment. The all encompassing rule here then, is that without devising and applying a social strategy EARLY on, you could possibly make some major mistakes or at the very least, realise a lower potential return on your investment than is actually attainable.
People are talking about your business on Twitter and Facebook. Whether you decide to listen or not, the conversations are happening. For most businesses these social conversations, if handled correctly, can be leveraged in their favour; even if a customer has taken to one of their favourite social outlets to vent or complain about your product or service. In most cases the amount of people exposed to a brand from a single tweet will exceed the customer service provided in a privat setting – one on one.
An example of a company who truly understood this and the importance of providing deep customer service on Twitter was Warby Parker’s and their response to customer service questions. As a brand who was looking for a way to interact with customers outside the constraints of Twitter, their social media team started developing and sharing videos of themselves answering questions to YouTube and replying to customer’s tweets with a link to the videos.
As a result, Warby Parker found that customer service tweets that included a video were retweeted 65 – yes sixty five – times more frequently than other tweets from the company. Warby Parker found that consumers value and are impressed when an organization goes the extra mile to connect with them in a transparent and authentic manner. Warby Parker understood the importance of social media customer service and how any brand can use it to their advantage.
Here are five tips for you and your organization to do just that:
1. Respond with a Sense of Urgency
Response time is crucial when it comes to social media. The businesses that treat their Twitter accounts like an inbox will quickly find that any compliment if left unchecked for too long will wither and die before it can be publicly acknowledged and thereby properly leveraged. Likewise any complaint that is left to fester for too long has the potential to grow exponentially if not properly dealt with.
2. Use the Appropriate Tools
You can’t friend or follow everyone on Facebook or Twitter so using the proper Social media monitoring software is essential to ensure you don’t miss any potential leads or issues as they instantaneously arise. We happen to know a company that does a pretty bang-up job on this front…*toots own horn*
3. Keep it Simple
Ultra complicated issues that develop should be dealt with on an individual basis. In this case publicly acknowledge the complaint, comment or question and ask the person to call or contact your business directly while carefully explaining your additional contact information. If the interaction goes smoothly or if you notice others still commenting on the situation be sure to publicly explain how the issue was resolved.
4. Inform and Up-Sell
Building upon Tip #3, informing and up-selling will be your businesses go-to tool when it comes to your social strategy. This has to do with ensuring you consistently go above and beyond with each comment question or complaint. Suggesting other products or services that your customers might like can be an extremely effective method when treated as a soft sales pitch.
5. Follow Up
Any time you deal with a comment, question or complaint follow up with the individual or groups of individuals involved. Send a tweet about the experience and ask questions like, “how do you like the product that we suggested?”, “Any other questions about the product?”, “Based upon your suggestion last week, we thought you might like this.”. When your customers or followers have seen you go so far above and beyond, they WILL talk about it. And that’s exactly what you want.
Do you have any Social Media customer service triumphs you would care to share? We would love to read them so post ‘em up in the comments section below. Let’s see how well we practise what we preach!