The Networks (Part 1)
Is your blog ready?
Good. The next thing we have to do is to look at the platforms we need to use. There are obviously many of them. However, what’s right for your company will be dictated by a number of factors: your industry, your objective and your target market – to name a few. Ask yourself these questions for each social network you are considering:
1. Are your customers on the network?
2. Does the network fit your demographic?
3. Is your industry represented on the network?
Look at any study, report or white paper and you’ll notice that Facebook is far and away the most popular social network. There are twice as many monthly active users as the next most popular platform (Google+). For this reason alone, Facebook should be an easy choice, but there are other reasons we’re going to include it in the mix.
Do not use your personal profile. Establish a Facebook business page. Go to pages, click the button for creating the page and follow the instructions of the wizard.
- DO NOT SELL YOUR PRODUCT HERE
- Because of the format that allows larger posts, we’ll use Facebook to tell our story, interesting historical facts about our product(s), bios on our staff, great things that have happened or are happening, promote events, community service, etc. All kinds of good stuff. Use plenty of media, but not too much.
- A lot of it will come from/through our blog.
- DO NOT SELL YOUR PRODUCT HERE
I’ve chosen Twitter, for the most part, because of it’s listening prowess. Remember, social media is not a megaphone – its more like a hearing aid.
According to a recent survey by Sprout Social, social media is where people want to log a complaint. This is out in front of God and everybody! That is the top choice for customer care (34.5%), followed by web/chat and then email. However, 89% of social messages to brands go ignored and the average brand response time on social is ten hours. The customer is lost by then.
We’re going to use Twitter for:
- Customer service by promoting customer care over that channel. “We at @username value our customers and are ready to address any issue you may have at once.” (Link to a page on your blog that goes into details) You get to hear about an issue a customer had almost immediately and resolve it just as fast. If you can’t spin that into a positive message, well then, give me a call. I can!
- Insights as to what’s going on. You have a tool that companies that have gone before you never had. You can listen in – on your customers, your prospects and spot trends early in their development. Keep a watchful eye on your timeline for comments, but on the timelines of your key industry trend setters, trade associations and customers as well.
- Oh Yeah! Commercial espionage. Listening in on our competitors feels unsavory, but its not. Get that out of your head. Watch their timelines as well for problems they may be having that can be addressed in the solutions you offer. What are they doing right – what ae they doing wrong. Use it to your advantage.
- Look at their followers and who is following them to see if anything interesting can be found. Don’t you suppose there could be customers of theirs following them?
- To get followers, you have to follow others, and post. So, what you do here is keep it light – notify your followers of a particularly good new, post to the blog, event announcements, cross network contests, retweet stuff of interest, etc.