Social Media Virgins
Posted On: February 7 2011
Social media will not save you. If you think that you can rely on it just because it's free, and everyone's talking about it, you're wrong. Social media is one part of the marketing pie. How large that slice is depends on your business and your objectives.
Do people want to know you? Think of it like a cocktail party. If you attend an event and your only interaction is with the bartender and your beloved blackberry, people will not notice you. However, if you mingle, listen to others, ask questions, shake some hands and hey, maybe even throw in a shimmy shake - you start to build a presence. In social media, you need to work the community just like you'd work a room.
"The power of Twitter is in your sharing, not your selling" (via @iconic88). If you're a constant self-promoter, people will not want to follow you. Follow others who are relevant to your industry, retweet their links, engage in conversations, share information of value. At the very least, have a 1:4 ratio (self promotion vs versus sharing other information that your followers will find value in).
Think before you tweet. Just because you have the power to publish at the click of a button does not mean you should pollute the social space with mindless chatter or endless self-promotion. Don't share what you ate for breakfast. And if you are responding to someone where the discussion would add no value to the rest of your followers, use a private direct message instead. Come across an interesting article related to your industry, a top ten list, or a shocking stat? Retweet away. People dig that.
Use photos - People like information that can be easily and quickly digested, and photos do just that. The right kind of photos, mind you. What do people like to see? If you are a hotel for example, perhaps you want to showcase photos of your fabulous rooftop pool, or maybe the vibrant bellhop uniforms that your hotel is known for. Or perhaps you can do a honeymoon series, where you take a photo of a just-married couple that's staying in the honeymoon suite and share the story of how they met (with their participation of course). The point I'm getting at is, post photos that are creative, and convey some sort of an interesting story.
Bottom line, social media is one part of the marketing mix that can be an effective way of keeping in touch with your fans and connecting to your community and business industry. Lastly, if you're going to explore social media, make sure you set realistic expectations, and understand that it is an ongoing campaign, not a one-off promotion. Creating any sort of community requires frequent attention and time to grow.
Source: Social Media Virgins by Amy Chan
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