You have probably heard this hundreds if not thousands of times: “You need to go social!” Yes, it’s a great tip as the influence of social media is increasing rapidly. But is it enough to just create a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile for your business to automatically start profiting from it? Or are there some other secrets you should be aware of before delving into social networking?
Major Benefits of Social Media
Well, marketing managers all over the world are familiar with social networking and how great it is for business. For example, it may increase the awareness of the brand or the website’s Search Engine Ranking.
Real state of companies going social
The good news is that many companies nowadays have their pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… However, a huge amount of companies’ pages on these platforms look similar to their company’s websites. They record a small number of viewership or “likes”(referring to FB) with some of these numbers probably rigged, and 10 posts (max) which are already decades old. To add icing to a rotten cake, there are no real conversations with clients and/or visitors to the company’s profiles. What is the purpose then of having such a Facebook page?
Think about it. What is the main reason for a company to go social? In the end, it’s all about promoting your company, products or services. But is it something worth going social for? Telling your clients that your company can beat your competitions behind any day (to the death even!) is one way of going social. But displaying your clients testimonials on social networking sites, is telling not just one…not two…but the entire world of how cool your company truly is.
So, how do we achieve this? The core to being present in any social networking site is to be interactive. Interaction through effective communication causes a chain reaction that eventually leads to increase of sales, contracts and business success. It’s as simple as that. Next, we need to understand the basic principles that can make this interaction 100% effective.
Quality Over Quantity
First of all, the phrase “More is Better” doesn’t work for social networks. It’s better to use one well performing social networking site, for example, Facebook, rather than have your company’s logo pop up everywhere.
Hear me out before you start pummeling me with words like “Expanding… Brand… Recognition”. If you use many social networking sites, and use them all equally and effectively, then thumbs up for you (and your business). But if your business is flooding every one’s Twitter feeds, and all people see on LinkedIn are crickets chirping from one end of the screen to the next, then your company’s brand is failing to tap into a vital pool of clients.
Find the best social media
Dilute your resources equally on social networks, but analyze the best social networking site for your business. If more of your clients access Facebook as compared to LinkedIn, then unleash your business prowess on Facebook, without totally ignoring the LinkedIn page.
How to attract visitors in FB?
Wait! There’s more! (lean closer). So, your company has a Facebook page. Easier said than done. But how do you attract clients? Get a gazillion likes and thousands of followers? Put simply, how do you encourage people to be active on your Facebook page?
1. Make it engaging and relevant
Primarily, don’t post everything about your business on the Facebook page. Simply make it engaging and relevant to your potential clients and/or visitors. Share your thoughts and experiences with your visitors. Also make it more convenient for your visitors to share the information from your page with their friends. For example, use banners, infographics, and videos to communicate the message to your visitors.
2. Reward visitors for their loyalty
Everyone loves a gift, so reward viewers for their loyalty. Some companies successfully engage their visitors with different kinds of polls like, which new variation of the already existing product they would prefer to have, and make a campaign out of it. If done properly, such a campaign creates a buzz and a growth in fans.
3. Don’t ignore clients messages
And what do you do with the messages and wall posts from your clients? According to the latest A.T. Kearney Social Media Study, 27 out of 48 Interbrand’s top 50 Brands for the year 2011 didn’t response to a single customer reply on Facebook, and up to 70% (!) of customers’ complaints were ignored on Twitter.
4. ‘Delete’ isn’t a panacea for critical posts
In this case, never delete a public post by a client and/or visitor. Any publicity is good publicity! Furthermore, the internet is a vast network and there are millions of other ways to get a message across. Also ignoring some criticism won’t give you any extra points. No one’s perfect, so take criticism positively. Just react or respond to the criticism quickly to reassure others.
5. Say ‘Thanks’ for positive comments
Also don’t forget to thank clients for positive comments about your company. It is very important to them that their opinion is not ignored. A short ‘Thank you’ message or a small gift from your company will make them remain loyal to your brand presence on social networks.
6. Your social page design IS important
Finally, remember that what attracts potential clients and/or visitors to your brands social networking profile is the page’s design and layout. Invest in designing a great looking social network page for your company and I guarantee you, that more people will linger on your page and longer.
7. Call-to-action buttons work
Moreover, if you place a clear call-to-action graphic like, “Like our page” in the landing tab, this will help you get more “likes” and convert you visitors into fans. Add a “Invite your friends” tab to the page footer, and “Share” tabs to engage with other social networks.
8. Social networking ? Interns’ job
Last, but definitely not the least, don’t underestimate the power of social media! Many companies give interns the job of updating the social networking sites, without realizing the possible repercussions. By assigning this task to the least experienced employee, you have endowed them with the loudest voice.
Still don’t believe social media is important for nowadays businesses? Then let’s check the Infographic on the latest Social Media Stats for the year 2012: