WARNING: This article contains yet ANOTHER guide on how to use social media for your business. Also note that there is a HAZARD WARNING that this article may shock or provide you with enlightenment.
Coffee has been widely accepted as being an integral part of office culture. It is a physical need for most office employees to start their day. The taste of coffee is almost predictable, but every blend is unique and the aftertaste also differs. However, the most important thing is the experience of drinking that cup of coffee in your hands. Do you breathe in the steam, do you scull it, or do you simply take dainty little sips? In that way, coffee drinking is an art form.
Similarly, businesses use social media to kick start their promotional campaign, to acquire new consumers, and to maintain their current customers. Open up any Facebook page of a business and you can almost predict what its next 10 posts will be just by scanning through. Whatever first impression you get, it is absolutely crucial that you convey the impression you desire. Did you want them to think your company was a colourful bundle of joy? Or a serious and professional suit-and-tie type? Or just plain boring?
Whatever you desire to achieve, here, I present to you the magical formula for your PR and advertising needs. Below is a guide specifically catered for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.
Level of activeness: Around 4-5 posts per day
The majority of posts in your Facebook page should feature your business. After all, it’s a page about your business, and there’s nothing more disappointing than a Facebook page that has minimal updates about your website, events and/or upcoming releases. The tone that you use should be informal, conversational, and enthusiastic. However, there should also be non-related posts for the ‘lol’ factor. These include cute pictures (of kittens and puppies), preferably something related to your business, or something that you can generate a pun out of. This technique encourages audiences to ‘like’ (thereby making it pop up in their news feed) or to ‘share’ (which could place your business on their timeline!). Another key technique to engage your customers is to post inspirational quotes and adding rhetorical questions – such as: “blah blah blah, said John Smith in 1995. What do you think?”
Also, by being an admin of a page you have the option of purchasing a ‘boost post,’ which effectively places your company’s posts on the top of your liker’s news feed. Furthermore, you receive analytical data detailing the number of organic audiences (for free)!
Level of activeness: Approx. 4 tweets per day, however in case there is a query by a customer you should have twitter notifications turned on for a speeeedy reply!
Features: Consistency is the key. Twitter is the perfect platform for ‘guerrilla marketing’ due to its character limit and stream based platform. Informal, conversational language should be utilised. Upcoming updates to your website, featured articles, all posts that involve your company should contain a link back to your website, preferably shortened. Twitter should always be the most fluid and active platform, and answers to customer inquiries must be replied ASAP via the ‘reply’ button. An option you could consider as part of Twitter marketing is acknowledging your premium users.
To structure the contents of your tweets, begin with a single world that summarises the message in caps. For example: “CALL: Looking for an affordable lawyer to look over hire deed/hire terms and conditions.” Remember, KISS – keep it short and simple!
3. Google Plus
Level of activeness: at least 2-3 posts per week.
Features: Google Plus is a very tricky platform, especially because it is so new. A conversational tone must be maintained, however, it should not be informal. This is because informality would not go well with its sleek interface (no cute animals ). Do not be discouraged if you don’t have much comments or shares, though. Google Plus users are significantly less bothered.
Another feature of Google Plus businesses could take advantage of are the 1080p videos. Post your TV ads or link your “weekly digest” videos from Youtube. Also, by acknowledging your premium members, you help promote their businesses while you grow your circle on Google Plus!
Level of activeness: Occasional
Features: Of all the above mentioned social media, Pinterest should be the least managed and least updated channel. It is because most of the images that will be pinned on your board will be unoriginal. You will be sharing other people’s creation, and therefore will not offer any significant insight into your company. In addition, office happy snaps should be confined to Facebook, due to the low-reach nature of Pinterest. Some may argue that Pinterest enhances customer engagement by inviting customers to “Pin it on our board!” But honestly, who can be bothered to Pin it on anywhere other than their own board? Sneak peek snaps of unreleased products are an option that you could consider, but don’t reveal too much or else the hype will be gone! Other techniques that come to mind are organisations that pin their posters or feature premium members.
Confused? See my article “You Face I Tweet” to gain deeper insight into 10 powerful social networking sites.