By Evan Vitale
If your business hasn’t embraced social media or, perhaps, someone in your office shares a post here or there, now is a great time to start taking this awesome marketing and customer connection tool seriously.
Social media can be – and should be – much more than shouting at your customers that you have the best business; products and services in town or that everything is on sale this week. Those kinds of announcements are advertising and typically aren’t received well by your social media audience.
Therefore, before we get started posting Facebook pictures or “Tweeting” or sharing pictures on Tumblr, let’s first get to the bones of creating our social media strategy.
First, decide which platforms you plan to engage your customers. Some of them include Facebook; Twitter; YouTube; LinkedIn and Tumblr, etc. Each of these allow you to connect and share with your customer (and potential customer) in a different way. For example:
- Facebook allows you to create a community of “Fans” or customers. Here you can engage with them on a personal level. It’s a great place to share and to “talk.”
- Twitter provides a platform for quick, on-to-go updates about any topic in real time. Here you can share news from a conference you’re attending or something that’s happening in your office or in your town.
- YouTube is a great platform for creating and sharing videos that educate or help your audience.
- LinkedIn allows you to make business connections and gain leads.
Another good place to start is to identify your target customer. Who is your customer? How to they buy? Where are they on social media? What’s the best way to target prospects?
There’s nothing wrong with a little trial and error in social media until you find what works. A great place to start is by educating your audience. Help your customers (and potential customers) solve a problem. Be candid; open and willing to share. The more you do this, the more they will trust you. Sharing helps make you the expert.
Here’s a good example: A cold snap was bearing down on Indiana a couple of years ago, so a heating and cooling company warned all of its fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter what was heading their way. Instead of sharing “call us if your furnace breaks down,” the company offered tips and advice that will help your furnace keep running during the cold snap and keep you warm. See how they did that? Helpful.
Next week, we’ll explore Facebook.