You can twitter about what you had for breakfast, post a picture on facebook of your cat in a batman suit, or create the craziest, most amazing blog ever. But how can these social mediums be used to boost your bottom line?
When you improve and increase the communication between you and your clients you build a relationship. Itâ€™s like dating. When someone sets you up on a blind date and you know nothing about the person, have never spoken to them, and havenâ€™t even seen a picture, youâ€™re very likely to come up with the â€œsuddenly something came upâ€ excuse. (Please see Episode 18 of Season 4 of the Brady Bunch) The same can be said for your business. If your community knows nothing about you, theyâ€™re unlikely to â€œdateâ€ you.
So let the community get to know you. But first, decide what information you want to communicate.Â
If someone subscribes to your twitter, â€œlikesâ€ your facebook page, or peruses your tumblr itâ€™s because theyâ€™re interested in what you have to offer. So offer them something that is organized, informational, trustworthy and entertaining. The later being what has propelled the popularity of social media. Itâ€™s fun. It makes you laugh. It gives you information you may not otherwise have received and it allows you to share that information with your friends.
Rogers, the Canadian phone carrier uses a Facebook contest that encourages users to â€˜likeâ€™ them on facebook, and share this experience with others. Not only does this engage the public in the brand, it supplies the brand with consumer information that may not otherwise be obtained. http://www.facebook.com/Rogers/app_224937077590490
People can â€œlikeâ€ your company on facebook, get the latest updates on what youâ€™re up to, receive special access to offers, and connect by asking questions and getting real time answers. The public can personally connect with the company and be entertained and informed by the business they are a part of, or interested in becoming a part of.
NBC makes TV interactive by using facebook as a medium for fans of the show â€œThe Voiceâ€ to vote on their favorite contestant. While fans are on facebook they can also check out their favorite episodes and get more information about the show.
Twitter offers a lot of the above but with one big caveat. The public doesnâ€™t have to â€œfriendâ€ you to get connected. Sure they can follow you, but your business can also come up on their newsfeed if someone @â€™d you. If I have 10,000 followers and I @yourbusiness, you just received a whole bunch of free marketing. This of course can work for or against you depending on how positive the twitter was.
The power of an uncontrolled social platform can be enormous.
On April 12, 2008 @jamesbuck simply tweeted the word â€œArrestedâ€ while he was in Egypt. With no resources in Egypt, and thousands of miles from his home, one of his followers contacted the UC Berkeley campus where he was attending school. UC Berkeley contacted the U.S. Embassy and the press, eventually bringing assistance to @jamesbuck.
Blogs are a great way to get into detail about what it is youâ€™re trying to communicate. You can write about the latest news pertinent to your industry, post informational videos about your business, (such as interviews with the CEO or funny animations) show pictures of last nightsâ€™ company event, or simply post a comical industry joke you recently heard.
Not only are all these avenues fun and informational, but they also encourage discussion between yourself and your followers.
In order to get readers to tie the GE brand to more than just light bulbs, the GE blog uses wonderful photography, videos, even art and music to create entertaining stories that engage the reader and pass on a little more information about who they are and what they do. http://www.gereports.com/
Once youâ€™ve decided what you want to communicate, decide how you want to present it. Your website can be your home base. From there you can not only provide information on yourself and your business, but provide links to: your blog, twitter, and facebook.
And youâ€™ll want to keep all that information fresh. As time consuming as it may be, youâ€™ll want to post several new items every week because your audience will quickly lose interest if itâ€™s same olâ€™ same olâ€™.
But this is what you love! This is what excites you! It can be a very rewarding experience to spread your love of your business through the written word. You may just reach an audience that you might otherwise have not been unable to reach.
The first priority in marketing is no longer about pitching your service or product, itâ€™s about building relationships.