It’s easy to forget that social media is social. With the rush to an ever-expanding list of new mediums and networks, SMEs need to invest time in engaging with their community of followers and connections. Are you just broadcasting your message out to the world? Or are you truly engaging with your customers and audience?
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of social networks and platforms which all have the potential to be used as seriously effective marketing tools. Alongside the ones we all know and love (or hate, or love to hate), the list is constantly expanding. Snapchat. Periscope. Vine. And this is not to mention all the highly-individualised, localised and industry-specific social networks.
But with the range of social media out there it’s all too easy to forget that social media is first-and-foremost social.
When SMEs use social media, they’re often thinking “broadcast”. You will link back to your latest blog post from Twitter, post an update about a brand new client on LinkedIn, or upload a sales video to YouTube and embed it in a Facebook post. But all these different tactics are doing one thing – broadcasting a message from one company to an audience.
People talk to people
In the outside world, when you’re following up on a referral from a previous customer, you’ll introduce yourself by name. You won’t just talk about business. You’ll show an interest in some of their interests. You might talk about the weather, or how your journey was, or last night’s football match. This is because people buy from people that they see as trustworthy, reliable, authentic, and share some sort of affinity with. The same approach should be taken on social media.
Not being social on social media is like meeting a prospect and handing them a sales leaflet. “Have this. The order form is over there”.
But I don’t have the time…
Using Twitter as a social medium rather than a broadcast medium takes time. In fact, it can take a lot of time. After all, you’re managing a community. Even so, here are some brief tips and tricks that can help you to be more social on social:
3 easy ways to use social media socially
(1) Share, comment on and engage with your followers and connections’ content. There are tools that you can use to make this process easier. Followerwonk, for example, allows you to find your most influential followers. This, in turn, allows you to craft a specific message that will resonate with them, that they’ll share with their followers, amplifying your content.
(2) Actively participate in conversations. On Twitter, this might mean regular industry-specific conversations, which often use a particular hashtag. On LinkedIn, it might mean discussing things in industry fora. Prospects will want to know that you’re an expert. And these sorts of spaces are perfect for demonstrating your expertise.
(3) Ask your audience what they want from you. As we’ve discussed earlier, social media is a great tool for market research. But it’s also a great tool for content research. What do people want to know about you and your business? Are they crying out for a how-to guide? A price comparison calculator? Ask them directly!
But I really don’t have the time to do this! If that’s the case, we can manage your social media profiles for you. Get in touch to find out more.