We meet again you social media infidels! This post may not be that interesting to those that consume products but don’t care about social media or marketing, so we apologize ahead of time. We feel that after spending three years involved with social media we have learned a ton on how to use it in such a way that you aren’t spamming the gonads off of the people you’re trying to communicate and connect with.
First key to this online space is simple; it IS changing on a weekly basis. Each individual social site is changing all the time, there are new sites coming into play regularly, the metrics and analytics are evolving constantly, and there are new creative ways to use these tools coming about daily.
What is social media?
A social tool or platform used to build an online community of supportive and engaged people by listening, interacting, and adding value to one another.
The term “social media marketing” is often used, but we actually do not endorse it because we feel it throws people off. The most important word in that three word term is SOCIAL. No matter which social networks you are on and using (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Foursquare), they ARE NOT a soapbox for you to stand on top of while using a megaphone to scream your message out.
If you are using social networks this way you are treating it as a traditional form of marketing and advertising (like print ads, radio, television, phone books, direct mailers, email blasts that your customer can’t reply to, etc.) in which you are the one talking and the consumer is left with no voice. This is one of the reasons why social networks have become so insanely popular…it is the first time in the history of advertising that the consumer has a voice and can instantaneously connect with brands.
Rather than go on and on, which we could, we will leave you with some general bullet points of advice and we will be sure to do more posts like this in hopes that it will help small businesses in Paso Robles, on the Central Coast, and anywhere else that are stopping in to check it out.
- If you have an account set up on one of the social networks but you don’t use it, we suggest you delete it or hide it. We are in the process of doing that ourselves. If you have an account but don’t respond to anyone you will surely be pissing people off…it’similar to not answering your phone.
- You can’t post something to Facebook (or any other network) and just walk away. Check back in and respond to anyone that is commenting to you, and every once in a while engage the people that ReTweet or “Like” the stuff you’re posting. You wouldn’t walk away from someone talking to you at your place of business, you can’t do that online either.
- The unwritten online rule is for roughly every 10 posts 1 can be about you. This is a rather arbitrary number but the point is to think about how often you are posting about you. If you post 1 to 10 times per day and all posts are about you or promoting yourself than you don’t understanding “SOCIAL”.
- You need to respond to all feedback…positive, neutral, and negative; this can be difficult but it must be done. You must also know how to deal with those that are ranting and dissatisfied, don’t rant back.
- You can post relevant information about your business/ products as well as information important to your industry, but you should also be posting any combination of the following: news articles that are interesting, jokes, funny videos, quotes, photos of you brand/ service/ product, short videos, and so on. The point is that you will have to do the homework to find out what is important to the community you are building and what is making people talk. This is an ongoing adventure so don’t get caught sleeping. Observe, listen, and watch what is going on…the engagement or lack thereof will let you know how you’re doing.
- We encourage you to promote what social networks you are on by adding links on your website, adding that info to any literature you may have, including it in any emails you send out, or anywhere else you advertise. If it works you can even get the social media decals and put them up in your place of business.
- It really does pay to continuously research what tools are out there and what those tools are being used for and how they are being used. Our world, business included, is evolving into MOBILE-SOCIAL-SHARING…now’s the time to dip your toes in the water!
We could write pages and pages of thoughts and opinions about social media based on our experience! One last tip before we call it quits until another article is this: WARNING- We are pleading with you to be cautious, do not fall for those people claiming to be social media pro’s when it’s obvious they are not, all you have to do is check their Facebook and Twitter pages to see what they have or have not done. Anyone try to sell social to you needs to be social. If they can’t do it online for themselves they won’t be able to do it online for you!
If you have any questions regarding social networking you can leave a comment or email Hoot direct at email@example.com.
Hey, like this post? Why not share it!?Tweet