7 Tips You Can Implement Today To Make Your Business More Social
So many people say, “I just never think to share things on social media,” or “We don’t have time to have everyone on our team playing on social media sites.” The secret to freeing your social media from behind that locked marketing department door is to help everyone in your company learn to THINK SOCIAL. Once you start to see the world through social media glasses, you will see opportunities to be more social in small ways and in very little time.
Here are 7 things you can do to be more social in your business starting TODAY:
Talk about social media and how your consumers are using these new tools at your team meetings.
What are people seeing? Has anyone used or heard of a new social tool that your customers are using? Simply letting your employees know that you have social media accounts is a big step for some organizations. Let employees know how you intend to use the pages and profiles. Encourage them to follow the posts and share any that they feel are appropriate. Let them know that they are not required to like your Facebook page, but it is a great way for everyone to know what is going on. This is a great time to discuss policies and procedures for sharing work information. What is appropriate? What are the goals for your company on social media? (You obviously have to know these answers first!)
Divide and learn social media!
You don’t all have to know everything about every tool, but why not assign team gurus. Perhaps you have an Instagram Guru, a Pinterest Guru, a Vine Guru, a PicMonkey Guru, and the list goes on. Have each “Guru” be responsible for teaching the team one new nugget at meetings.
Help customers be social with you.
When you see a customer with their smartphone out trying to take a photo, understand they could be sharing that on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Offering to take the photo FOR them and reminding them to tag your biz in it, shows you are in the know and wanting to be social with them. If they are scanning price tags, be sure your team understands how to handle those situations.
Help customers REVIEW on Social.
If someone pays your team a compliment, teach your team members to respond with something like, “Thank you so much. We appreciate and value your feedback. If you are a Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook user, we’d love for you to post that on our page—it always helps.” Have cards printed with your Yelp or TripAdvisor links to make it easier for your customers to review you on social. When you get that compliment, you can hand them a card and thank them for their compliment.
Share helpful information on social media channels outside of your own content.
When you are in a store and see a product your target audience would love. Snap a pic and share it! Perhaps you’re a realtor and you see outdoor lighting on sale at Home Depot, or you a book on the shelf that you know your audience would like, be sure and share it. It takes seconds if you have your smart phone on you and your audience will see a fun, more social side to your business. It doesn’t always have to be about YOUR products or services.
Share local events with your audience.
You are probably already getting these messages or seeing the signs posted around the neighborhood. Better than just forwarding the link to the concert in the park, snap a photo of the poster and add it to that post.
Be social at events.
When there is an event going on, in or around your business, train everyone on your team to think social. Taking photos is everyone’s job today. They won’t all get used, but you will have more to choose from and share with your social audiences. That brunch with Santa, the charity car wash your team participated in, the networking event the sales team attended, these are all situations that can be shared strategically with your online communities, but without a picture, it’s just not as fun to share.
When you start seeing the world with social glasses on, you will find more to share than ever before. It doesn’t have to become a burden to one person when your whole organization thinks social!
How else do you incorporate social sharing in your everyday life? We’d love to hear your ideas here!
Many businesses pride themselves in being a “Social Business,” showing off their Facebook and Twitter icons on their websites and a few even putting stickers in their windows reminding people to “Follow”, “Like” or “check in” . Unfortunately, a facebook page does not make a business social and pumping out promotional content that has more keywords in the posts than actual helpful or interesting information is not helping your cause either.
Let’s imagine you invite customers and potential clients to a casual dinner party. Your goal is to build relationships, hear what is important in their world and answer any questions they may have from you. Firing up your laptop and running through your 87 PowerPoint slides with corporate images and jargon is probably not the best party idea. Yet that is what many people do on social media sites. Sterile corporate images and content that looks like it was pulled straight from a brochure.
PowerPoint at a dinner party
Social media allows us to invite our customers in for a more casual conversation. It allows us to take off the corporate suits and let people get to know us a little more intimately. It’s like Dorothy and her gang pulling back the curtain and finally getting to see and know the REAL wizard of Oz. He was big and intimidating behind the curtain. You couldn’t speak directly to him and you certainly didn’t get the feeling that he wanted to hear what you had to say. Once the curtain was pulled back, Dorothy saw a more vulnerable but likable man.
Too many companies are afraid to let customers peek behind the curtain. They don’t want to show the real people who work for the organization, because they look very different from the “corporate porn” photos that we see on websites. I love the one’s showing smiling and laughing, perfectly diverse teams, standing around a FLIP CHART! Come on…we are not fooled! Show us your REAL team.
Our Teams Look Just Like This!
Here are 4 ways you can allow people to peek behind the corporate curtain:
Share facts about your team members. Let us know their favorite movies, ice-cream flavors, first pet… anything. People want to know about the real people they interact with or those that are behind the scenes making it happen.
Open an Instagram account and make a point to share at least one photo a week of something going on in your organization. Whether you share a great shot of your business decked out for the holidays, a unique picture of food being prepped for a party or just a beautiful view of your business at sunrise or sunset. People love to see from your vantage point.
Let people see what you do FOR your team members. Great leadership in action is more than a marketing slogan. Show examples. The management team at one of our clients, the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, wanted to surprise the employees one summer afternoon by washing their cars for them. Someone snapped great pictures and of course the social community loved seeing this act of servant leadership.
Leaders at Hyatt Regency DTC Wash Employees Cars
Open up iMovie on your iPad or flip that video switch on your smart phone to create a 30-second video sharing a tip or tips from the experts on your staff (not your marketing team or hired models). Show your bartender creating the perfect party drink or allow one of your team members of your dress shop, to show how to pick the perfect handbag to complement a party dress. Don’t over produce, but do make sure you plan out the short video and make sure the sound is great.
Like Dorothy and her gang, you need a bit of courage to take on sharing more with your social community. You need a brain to share the right things that are congruent with your brand, but by doing so, you will show that you have a heart for your customers and potential customers who will want to follow you right back home!
I would love to know what other ideas you have used or others you have seen. Leave your creative ideas in the comments here!
If you are old like me, you may remember the scary Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds. Since I was just a wee toddler, the only thing I remember about that movie is, when one or two birds are in the yard it’s cute, but six million birds converge upon your playground… you are going down! So today we look at our fourth fear:
SOCIAL MEDIA FEAR #4:
I WILL ANNOY PEOPLE IF I POST EVERY DAY ON MY SOCIAL SITES
This is the fourth fear we are tackling this week in our series called DON’T BE AFRAID: Busting the Five Fears of Social Media Marketing. Today we take on the fear of posting too often on your social sites. I hear this a lot from new clients who say they only want to post on Facebook and Twitter once a week and to sites like LinkedIn or Google Plus, once a month.
Many companies who do not understand the SOCIAL part of Social Media use these platforms to promote, and talk about themselves or other useless pieces of information. Too many of these posts from someone and you will feel like a bird has come to peck your brains out. But if the content is helpful, interesting, witty, and focused on helping your audience, you can feed it too me all day long. So assuming you are producing GOOD content, let’s look at why you want it going out frequently.
NOT ANOTHER LOL CAT VIDEO!
Here are two good reasons you want to be consistent and frequent with your social posts:
It is a crowded space on the social highway and you will get passed over unless you have great content dripped on a regular basis. Think of this as your opportunity to provide value to your target market on a daily basis. Let them read your nuggets of wisdom and knowledge each day, reinforcing in their mind that you are, indeed, the thought leader in your market space. Let your face be the one that greets them in the morning and again, the one that wishes them good night (okay perhaps that is a bit creepy, but you get the picture!).
Just like Benjamin Franklin once said, “Use it or Lose it,” (or perhaps it was Justin Beiber), the same applies to your social media marketing. If you are not creating regular content and providing opportunities for your community to engage, you will eventually lose them. Many businesses are frustrated by Facebook’s algorithm lately, that essentially begins to hide posts from people who do not LIKE or COMMENT on a business page’s posts. If they don’t USE IT, they will soon LOOSE its content. Posting only once a week will essentially cause your content to be invisible.
And if you are now starting to fear not having enough time to write great content and post it regularly, be sure to go back and read the FEAR OF SOCIAL MEDIA SUCKING ALL OF YOUR TIME for some helpful social and time management tips. What else is keeping you up at night…besides a bird pecking at the door?
I am the President and Chief Hooligan at SocialKNX, where we help to manage the madness called social media marketing. I’d love to hear from you and know what keeps you up at night (aside from the Burrito that ate Juarez)!
What challenges or fears do you have when it comes to managing your social media marketing plan?
For the past few years we have seen the steady growth of companies jumping on the social wagon. From creating Facebook and Twitter accounts that just pump out company information and promotions to campaigns allowing customers to suggest new product and service offerings and rewarding the fans who share stories and videos on the social networks.
Some organizations do nothing but post one or two updates per month while others have jumped into the driver’s seat, leading the pack with customer service representatives answering tweets 24/7 and customers getting replies back to a Foursquare check-in or cross-pollinating by letting Facebook fans know they will find clues on Twitter that end up having them “pin” something using the new social darling, Pinterest for a chance to win big prizes.
In 2011 we saw the adoption of social media by just about every business sector, from hotels, restaurants, and car dealers, to clothing stores, heating and air conditioning contractors, and even funeral homes. If a business serves people, then they were probably creating Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (now Google My Business) accounts and then trying to build and engage a community. Smart businesses see social media, not as a replacement to traditional sales, marketing, or customer service, but as an extension to their overall customer experience. They see it as another avenue to be out where the consumer is, building relationships, allowing people to get to know, like, and trust them.
This meant businesses started sharing content. They shared tips, tools, and helpful content to attract the savvy smartphone-wielding consumer who was looking to connect. Towards the end of 2011, we started seeing the shift from just pumping content out to the consumer, to getting the customer to engage on and offline. Getting a consumer to participate more by loading videos of their “haul” or “pinning” items they find on a website to Pinterest which then shares to Facebook and Twitter. Well pollinated!
PIN your INTERESTS!
What many businesses still have not figured into the equation is how the consumer has moved into the marketing seat. With hundreds of social review sites like Yelp, Open Table, Trip Advisor, Oink, on top of Facebook, Twitter, and more, consumers are marketing, for or against your business on these sites. Typically the front line staff member of an organization doesn’t realize the level of service they provide will end up in a post on one of these review sites. So how do you influence your social community members to post kindly? Can you influence them at all?
Companies like Walmart engaged some of their influential customers, mommy bloggers, to write reviews of products and “influence” their communities. This third-party (kind of) recommendation of products can greatly influence a community if that community has grown to know, like, and trust the blogger. Mercedes ran contests on Twitter where they selected 3 teams of influencers to drive their car to the Super Bowl and tweet along the way building their teams of online voters in hopes of winning a new ride. The drivers became the marketers, or influencers, drawing others into the Mercedes community. Recently Samuel Gordon’s Jewelers ran a promotion using Facebook, Twitter, their website, and that omnipresent, Pinterest, to get their fans to share pictures of their jewels with their social communities.
If you have nurtured your fan base, providing them with valuable content and promotions they really like, they will be listening when you ask them to pull their friends into your circle.
So where are YOUR customers talking about you and your brand? How do you plan on influencing those influencers out there? Perhaps this should be added to your next marketing meeting. What do you think?
Do you need help getting your social business ready to serve the new social consumer? We would LOVE to help you! Connect with Gina on Twitter or join our DIYsocial Facebook Page where we post helpful tips and tools for using social media to build your business!
I walked into Schlotszky’s sandwich shop last week (the most delicious sandwiches EVER) and saw this sign on the wall telling the world who baked the buns, who made the salad, and who baked the cookies. Do people really care WHO made the food they are eating? I mean I typically want to know the person is clean but I don’t usually wonder what his or her name is. But suddenly I was very interested. I stuck my head in the pick up window and said “Thanks Tomas. I love your work!”
Some companies are sharing pictures of their team members. I’ve seen grocery stores providing information on the local farmer they are buying produce from, and I know there are several hotels, including the Hyatt Denver Tech Center, that shares tips from their housekeeping team and even has their chef sharing recipes online. Social media has allowed companies to pull the curtain back and let customers see behind the scenes, get to know the team and develop closer relationships with otherwise cold brands.
If you are a small business or solo-preneur, who are the players on your team? Do you have an awesome website manager (like Dwight Maskew on our team) or fabulous community managers (like Mindy, Kristin, Marci and Sandy who do an awesome job serving our clients)?
Let your customers and social community see who bakes your buns!
If you need help managing your social business give us a call… Here’s who bakes our buns:
D-White the Wizard!
Marci Our Tech & Admin Maven
Mindy P.I. (she will FIND your ideal community members)
Recently I have become an Instagram addict. (Instagram is a social photo sharing app built for iPhone and iPad2 users.) Snapping photos of the mundane and everyday activities I am involved in and applying a little app magic to turn crappy photos into stunning works of art! Well, most of them look pretty cool. (This sunrise shot has NO FILTERS or magic applied–God did all of that for me on this day!)
Sunrise in Maui
At first I just thought it was a cool way to integrate some fun pictures I was taking into Facebok and Twitter, but I soon realized there were some fascinating people following me on Instgram. How do I know they are fascinating? I kept getting notices that people liked or commented on my photos and were now “following” me on Instagram, so I wanted to go check them out. I found beautiful pictures, creative postings and a whole new group of people I would have never discovered.
Interesting Mannequin Head
When building a social network, most people sign up for accounts and then wait for people to come and follow, friend or like them. The best way to get going is to set up the accounts an then go check people out. Whether it is through exploring other blogs and commenting, or saying good morning to someone new on Twitter or Facebook, when you show that you are interested in others, they just might come and check you out next!
Find me on most social sites @GinaSchreck and you can be sure that I will be coming to CHECK YOU OUT!