Customers connect with brands on their own terms, whenever and wherever they want. They can easily find you in the wide open world of social media. If they like you, they invite you into their lives. If they don’t, they bar the door to keep you away. And whatever they think—good or bad—can be shared (and re-shared) in just a few keystrokes.
Are you making the most of your company’s social media presence?
Engaging in social media means making relevant ideas available in relevant formats that can be consumed at the will of the customer. The premise of social media is to be social. With social media, you can: create 1:1 conversations with your customers; reinforce your brand; and get more out of your marketing investments by repurposing materials.
The most successful social media initiatives are led by companies that are truly engaged with their audience. Your customers want to know: “What’s in it for me?” They want more than to just “like” your brand, follow your Tweets or to add you to their professional network.
With social media, conversations are king. Your audience wants information that will make them smarter and more aware; they want ideas that are relevant to them. Ask them what they think, arm them with knowledge, invite them to comment, and give them content and resources they’ll want to share with their friends and connections. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube are tools that allow you to do what a website cannot: engage, connect, share and participate.
How to be more social:
Here are some ways to help you become more digitally engaged with your customers:
- Brand Yourself. The brand your customers find when they connect with you on social media should look, feel and sound like the same one you’ve worked so hard to portray on your website or corporate marketing materials. For example, you can create a customized tab on your company’s Facebook page. Think of it as a landing page. You can name it whatever you want, customize it to your branding and messaging, and make it the first thing people see when they go to your Facebook page.
- Recommend Someone. LinkedIn members can recommend any of their connections. Tell one of your connections why they are a great colleague, service provider or business partner—it will show up on your profile and theirs.
- Organize a Tweetup. Meet up for a face-to-face casual gathering with the people who follow you on Twitter. It’s a great way to build your relationships and meet potential new business leads.
- Tag It. Don’t forget about SEO on sites like YouTube and Flickr. Optimize the descriptions associated with your videos and photos by using relevant keywords and phrases. Use a tool like Google Trends to help you see what search terms people are using to find content like yours.
- Integrate: Add a “community” or “follow” tab on your website and provide links to your social networking sites so visitors can find and connect with you with a simple click. In your printed marketing materials, tell people they can find you online.
The new world of digital and social media raises the stakes for integrated marketing. By setting clear goals on what you want to accomplish, keeping the spotlight on the customer and taking your initiatives to the next level, you can stay focused and measure your successes.