Last week, we had the opportunity to participate in an online webinar, courtesy of Vocus. The title of the event was a question we hear all too often in the advertising world: “Social media… So what?”
If you’re a non-believer of social media, listen up! Here are our main takeaways:
• Social media is NOT going away. We’re always hearing the argument that social media is a “fad.” Well, we have two words for you: IT’S NOT. Social media is growing at a rapid rate, and changing the way the world does business, communicates, and lives. Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay.
• Social media is KEY for customer service. Scott Stratten from UnMarketing taught us about the “Experience Gap,” and why social media helps to minimize it. Stratten proved that social media can take the gap to 0 – meaning there is virtually no difference between the best and worst customer experiences. Rather, they both mesh together, leaving only the top-notch reviews at the top of the list.
• Twitter is POPULAR. Were you the nerdy kid in school, always wanting to be one of the cool kids? Embrace it! Twitter makes it so you can run with pretty much whatever crowd you choose. And with such a wide variety of users, no one is left friendless. Studies show that internet users spend, on average, 23% of their time on Twitter. Even more impressive, Twitter searches outnumber those on Yahoo and Bing – combined. Not to mention the average user has 126 followers. Now that’s a lot of friends!
Because we know you see the importance of Twitter and social media now, here are a few helpful tips to help you get started:
1. Don’t expect overnight success. “Using social media is like preparing for a marathon: You walk before you run.” Start slow and let your followers build slowly. Don’t get discouraged if you only have 5 friends, or 1 hit on your blog. “If you share it, they will come.”
2. Don’t fall in love with the sound of your own voice. Don’t push content for the sake of being an “active user.” No one shares (or even pays attention to) useless content. “There’s a big difference between being active and being productive.” Pushing a ton of useless posts is just that… useless! It won’t get you half as far as a single thought-provoking or informative post.
3. Be real. If people wanted to read corporate content, they wouldn’t be on social media. Give your followers information they’ll actually use and be interested in. Ditch the robotic tone and provide your fans with an open flow of communication.
4. Choose your battles. Maintaining social media sites isn’t the easiest task in the world. It’s important that you don’t have the “jack of all trades” mentality when it comes to establishing yourself on social networks. Be choosey! Pick the two or three platforms you like the best, or that work best with your brand, and focus on building them from the ground up.
5. Go with the flow. Don’t share content or tweet things that aren’t in your comfort zone. Stay true to yourself, and/or your brand. Communicate with your followers in a natural way. Speak with them, not at them – and most importantly, have fun!
Social media is a great tool, and one that is only getting better with time. So what are you waiting for? Hop on the social media wagon and enjoy the ride!