“Organizations cannot afford not to be listening to what is being said about them, or interacting with their customers in the space where they are spending their time and, increasingly, their money too.” ~ Malcolm Alder, KPMG’s Economy Practice, KPMG in Australia
As I was a shy child (way long time ago), I think I would have cringed at the idea of social media when I was in high school and college. There is something about hiding that still appeals to me today. I could only imagine if parents could have checked up on me in college by viewing my Facebook pictures. Whew…thanks goodness I made it through before cell phones to call home regularly and before social media to track my every move.
Now, however, as a business owner, social media is my friend. I might have gotten addicted to Facebook for my personal life too, but that’s a whole different topic! As a business owner, I know I need to stay fresh in the eyes of my clients and prospects. We need to portray our company in the personality that we want to be known by, and leave that ever so sought after first impression. I’ll admit, I didn’t want that additional task to add to my list of duties, or the list of a team member’s duties. We are all working hard over here, but somewhere…time had to be found!
Too many companies treat social media as a one-size fits all. If all companies don’t have the same marketing strategy for their business growth, then they shouldn’t have the same social media strategy either. What works for one company may not work for you. Sure, we can all take lessons from how social media giants like Chick-fil-a and Nike keep their information fresh, offer deals and promotions and keep their audience entertained. But when it comes down to it, you need to do what works for your company. What works for your clients and prospects. There is no one-size fits all strategy behind it.
Many more posts will be coming about social media, but first and foremost, make sure your social media plan incorporates the following key ingredients:
- Keep it Fresh! Your target audience is looking for fresh ideas and a source of knowledge. Make sure your plan incorporates a timeline of when you need to be thinking of new topics.
- Don’t Sell! There is nothing worse than following or liking a business and being sold to every day. Retail stores need to post sales and coupons, but most of us don’t. When a follower feels like they are being sold to because they like your page, they can simply unlike it as fast as they liked it. Remember, social media is NOT a direct sales tool. Yes, sales come from it, but they come from you building your brand and building a loyal following based on your perceived personality. Direct sales pieces bring in clients for a transactional deal. Social media brings them in for life!
- Quality NOT Quantity! There is a misinterpretation when it comes to staying in front of your followers. They aren’t on social media to follow only your company. They are on it for friendships, relationships and knowledge. Companies that post every day are very likely to get ALL of their posts hidden from being as bad as spam. Make sure what you post is interesting and targeted to your audience. Build loyalty versus annoyance!
When we work with our clients on social media, we’ll start by building a brand image. Then, we’ll work with the client on a social media strategy that is just for them. What’s their personality, and how can we portray it to make then stand out when somebody is looking for their product or service. When doing social media yourself, make sure to follow the simple rules above, and you’ll be on the right track! However…don’t take a break…social media doesn’t have downtime!
Last, but not least, I have to show you the best cartoon I’ve found on the effects of social media. Check it out below from Mashable!