Ten Tips To Succeed In Social Media
It wasn’t too long ago that the Internet, and social media, was likened to the Wild Wild West. There is still so much uncharted territory, that navigating it may seem overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve nabbed Cid Carver, social media and marketing representative at Fried Cookie, a company of online enthusiasts dedicated to easy-to-use software and an unforgettable online presence. Sharing what she knows, Cid has provided 10 things you need to know to cultivate your business’ online presence.
Don’t Be Paranoid
Would you slap some duct tape over someone’s mouth and shuffle them off to the backroom if they were in your store filing a complaint? You’d probably like to, but we don’t suggest it. So don’t do it online either! View negative feedback online as you would offline, as an opportunity to remedy whatever is wrong. Cid cites one of the most widely discussed case studies of negative feedback responses, JetBlue airlines. In this instance, one of their customers was standing in a check-in line tweeting about the lack of efficiency, and the JetBlue team saw the post, and worked in real time to fix the situation and get the person through.
What’s my name again?
Cid likens the basics on your web page to the important things in your wallet. Sure, it’s great you have punch cards to the local yogurt place, an honorary Super Friends membership card, and a 20-year-old Iron Maiden ticket stub, but if you don’t have your ID, it would be pretty difficult for someone to figure out who you are! Cid emphasizes making sure your business page prominently displays things like your hours, address, and what goods are available.
Don’t be THAT relative
Cid says uploading pictures is great if you are sharing your product, company events, or related visuals, but be careful not to over-share. No one wants to be that crazy aunt or uncle that smothers all of the other relatives with pictures of their oh-so-perfect son doing pretty much nothing, so don’t do that with your company either!
Don’t 4Get Spelling n Grammar
You are not a middle schooler messing with Webster’s legacy to look cool. You are a successful company trying to let your consumers know what’s what. It could be as simple as a their/there mishap to make your visitors think you didn’t listen in English 101, which might indicate a lack of professionalism! Cid emphasizes proofreading as a must, and suggests uploading statuses ahead of time, setting them to post in a few minutes, or even a few days, to make sure you’re representing yourself well.
Wait, what were we talking about?
Don’t forget why you made your page. You want to connect to your consumers, so be social! You want to get your brand out there, so don’t go off on a tangent about goodness knows what and lose focus. Set goals, and work toward them. If you want 1,000 likes, collect email addresses at your store’s checkout line to reach this goal. If you want your Facebook friends walking through the door of your store, give them a reason to make their virtual viewing a reality.
Going once, going twice, SOLD to the first Facebook friend to hit “like”!
No one wants to open their Facebook page and feel like they walked in to some smooth-talker’s used car lot during a clearance sale, but making it worth your viewers’ while to track you down online and “friend” you is always a plus. Give them the scuttle on what’s fresh, what’s on the discount rack in your farmers market, and how they can save to keep them checking back in for more.
Religion? Politics? Just don’t go there
In order to avoid leaving a bad taste in your customers’ mouths, Cid suggests following the first date rule: If it isn’t alright for that first, sweaty-palmed encounter with your crush, avoid it like the plague. Unless your organization has a political or religious affiliation that is directly part of who you are as a business (not as a person), leave those topics to the lobbyists and street corner evangelists and stick to talking about what you know best, your brand.
Take no prisoners!
This isn’t Pokemon, or Duck Hunt, or some game where you must collect followers like ‘90s Beanie Babies. Everyone wants to have a solid following, but the way you get your “friends” is just as telling as what you do with them. Some choose to put a little logo of the social media site they utilize on their products so people know it’s available, others ask for email addresses and seek out their consumers. What you do is up to you, but do it with grace.
Don’t be a negative Nancy
Everyone has a competitor. Mac has PC, Pepsi has Coke, and Tom has Jerry, but you can’t go around spewing sludge about the other guy, because, to be honest, what comes around goes around. Cid says you should never use your page as a water cooler to inform your consumers how nasty the guy around the bend’s peaches are this season. Make your page a place of positivity. And, for that matter, Cid says you should consider forming a partnership with whomever you’re going head-to-head with! This way, you can double your online viewership and keep an eye on their methods!
Look, people have blocked, junk-mailed, and just plain banned entire brands from their email inbox because the company was send-happy, so choose the info you NEED to share wisely. Cid says people really start to question the reliability of the brand when they feel they’re not respecting their space. Of course it’s a good thing to regularly update your page, and many sources suggest actually posting on a fixed schedule, but Cid says avoid the marketing language, and make sure what you’re sharing is of use to your followers. In addition, Cid suggests considering the 30/70 rule: 30% of the time should be marketing messages, and 70% should be sharing industry updates, commenting on other peoples’ posts, etc. The Internet is filled with unnecessary junk, don’t contribute to the waste.
To reach Cid Carver, email her at [email protected] or tweet her at @cid_carver.