Throughout my career, I’ve noticed the “dark cloud” that seems to hover over social media. People are always skeptical of its purpose, power and potential. Instead of exploring it, they avoid it all together. However, as a business or organization in today’s technology-driven world, that’s not an option. Okay, it is, but you’ll miss out on a lot!
For me, social media simply reflects other ways we connect with each other. Facebook is the proverbial water cooler at work or people-watching on the stoop/porch, and Twitter is the salon or barbershop full of chatty stylists and customers. We’ve always shared recommendations, news and gossip. Now we just do it faster and with way more people.
Social media presents a special opportunity for businesses to actually participate in the conversation. In the past, if someone badmouthed or praised you, more than likely the only evidence you’d see would be your bottom line. There was seemingly nothing you could do to fix or enhance your word-of-mouth reputation. With social media, you can interject and encourage discussion in a way that protects and promotes your brand.
Check out these three tips that make social media less spooky:
Have a conversation. I see it every day. “Buy this!” “Support me!” “SALE. SALE. SALE.” I get it. Social media is an awesome sales tool, but after a while, it feels spammy. And when it gets spammy, it gets easier for people to ignore you. By incorporating content that creates conversations alongside your sales pitches, you connect with your customer in a meaningful way. They want to buy from you because they feel like you ‘get’ them and they ‘know’ you.
When you’re developing a post, pay attention to your tone. Is it warm and friendly? Is it robotic? Remember, you’re talking to people—leave out the buzzwords and keep it simple. If you want them to do something, write a clear ‘call to action’ and make it easy for them to do the thing you want them to do.
Invest wisely. There has always been this false narrative that social media is “free advertising.” No. It’s never been free. It may not cost you anything to sign up, but you’re going to have spend lots of time (at the very least) maintaining your presence. I’m not advocating that you automatically put a budget of thousands of dollars toward social media, but you have to dedicate some funding to it. As social media platforms seek more profitability, your profiles/pages get less visibility and engagement, unless you pay up.
Don’t just advertise something “just because.” I always recommend that you set a clear goal/objective for your social media efforts and then determine the best tactic that will help you achieve that. If you want to drive more traffic to your website, the answer may be a boosted post. Thankfully, most social media sites offer affordable advertising options so you can take baby steps and start with a smaller budget to get a better sense of results.
Seek feedback. Your followers are the best focus group to help you deliver more of what your customers want. You can test the potential popularity and viability of a product before you go into production by posting a picture and ASKING a question. When people leave a bad review, don’t take it personal, follow-up and see what happened. You may discover a customer service gap or process problem and once you know about it, you can fix it.
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