You’ve followed the advice, created the accounts, sent out the messages, uploaded the links, shared photos and pointed followers and friends to your blog and even taken the time to comment regularly on topical business matters on Linkedin.
So why isn’t it working? Why doesn’t anyone retweet you, or comment on your blog and like your updates? It’s an experience shared by colleagues and you’re fast coming to the conclusion that social media is just yet another overhyped fad that will soon wither on the marketing vine.
OK, I hear the frustration and to be frank it’s not an uncommon situation. I often meet with business owners who have struggled to justify time and resource on developing a social media presence and in desperation and a last throw of the dice seek to hand the responsibility completely over to a third party………STOP! Don’t do it.
I appreciate that there is a nice little industry being created for those who can operate social media accounts for others and whilst I’m all for free enterprise it’s not really the point of social media, having someone else talk your talk. Above all social media is about making “real” connections not just making a noise.
But where does that leave the business? Technically following the correct course of action but just not finding any benefit let alone an audience.
Presented with this problem I prescribe the following;
Audit your social media accounts by asking a few key questions
Who are you connected to?
Who is active within your networks?
What messages are being broadcast?
The building of a network that offers you a rich source of quality content to which you can participate is always a good start. It may be that those who you are connected to are themselves not very active. So unwittingly you’ve created a network that as like a party where you’ve invited all the local agoraphobics, it’s not that they don’t like you it’s just that they are struggling to connect too.
Take a good look at the messages you’re broadcasting and the objectives you have within the business. It can often be a case that you’re either trying too hard or not hard enough. As a rule of thumb and to balance the interactions on a platform such as Twitter I recommend 1 business tweet in every 6. That can include 2 retweets, a reply to someone else’s comment and a couple of general items on the news or points of interest. Then you can introduce something that relates to your business objective. Don’t however “oversell”. Social media users are not usually very responsive to the hard sell; actually I’m not sure many of us are in any medium.
Consider taking a lateral approach. Now this may well be where your creative agency or consultant can earn their corn. Finding a point of interest that can generate response to your content but not directly “selling” is a good way to build trust and further connections.
You want an example? Of course you do….here’s 3
UStechnology company Best Buy introduced a new service for their customers who used twitter. They created a “Twelpforce” which included staff across all stores who were able to log in and assist customers by responding rapidly to their tech related queries via twitter. It works like a dream. Whilst not selling product directly it has had a very positive impact on the brand and has resulted in increased sales.
I can’t claim credit for the genius idea of the “Twelpforce” but I have initiated a couple of simple ideas, a seasonal photo competition using a TV weather presenter as a judge which has created significant increase in the company brand and awareness on social media sites. The competition is promoted on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn.
My most recent idea uses Valentines Day and the offer of a free card and personal message. This has just launched but has already created significant interest through Facebook where we have created a specific advert and twitter where positive feedback has already been noted.
As you’ll see from the above examples the idea doesn’t need to have an obvious link to your business. The key is to make connections, build trust, have fun and let your network realise that you’d be a good organisation to do business with.
If you’ve got an example of your own let’s hear about it.