You have a Twitter profile and you have a Facebook page, unfortunately this isn’t making you the master of Social Media because you don’t know what to do with it? The good thing is, is that you are linked to a real time news hub that offers you the latest information, conversations and industry news which is why your competitors, superstars, professional athletes and ordinary people are on it too.
For users unfamiliar with Twitter, the @ sign lets you add other users to your tweets, a bit like a call out, this will be posted on the other users homepage, the Hashtag # is used to highlight keywords in a Tweet and the RT, this is normally placed before a “Re-tweet” is to show that a message has been re-tweeted (this can be used to highlight good feedback or other interesting tweets to your followers).
There are many ways to manage a Social Media campaign but it is important before you commence a campaign to figure out exactly what you want to achieve from it. Is it to manage customer services and client expectations? Or is to to sell stuff? Do you want to create a fan base by offering excellent, engaging content to become more visible in the search results? Do your research and discover how your customers are using Twitters and what they are saying about you before decide how to engage your customers.
I recently had an issue with a large mobile phone provider. I have been with this provider for many years and was extremely disappointed with the resolution offered from the customer services department and voiced my opinion on Twitter by placing the company name in the Tweet using the @ sign followed by #customerservice and #fail. Surprisingly I received an immediate response from the Social Media team at the service provider and my complaint was handled and resolved to my full satisfaction within hours of Tweeting which was excellent. I followed my first “moaning” Tweet with a thank you, again naming the business to ensure that this was visible on their Twitter homepage and then proceeded to tell all my colleagues about it and the fab customer service I had received!
Moral of this story?? If you monitor conversations about your business and stay actively involved in these conversations, you can control any negative feedback and turn it into a positive experience for an unhappy user.
I see lots of competitions on Twitter requesting users follow them to have the chance to win and IPAD 2 or an Iphone 4 etc, whilst this will work and people will follow, the real trick then is to keep these followers engaged. The question has to be asked, will you benefit from these followers and will they value and share your information?
Personally I follow some sports stars to keep up to date with news about my beloved Manchester United, I follow fellow SEO enthusiasts to keep up to date with industry news and I also follow some of my favourite brands for sales news and new products launches etc. In regards to tweeting, my personal profile is more used to re-tweet or share good quality articles or content online, I might share a great product that I come across on a website and of course more recently I used it to complain!!
Professional or Personal?
Should you choose a professional business presence with a branded business page or should you use a personal profile for an employee to engage your users on behalf of your company? Branded pages are great for industry news, providing customer service and competitions etc. A personal profile is good if you want your business to have a more personal presence online, it is still important however to have a branded personal profile page to ensure that users are aware that an individual is representing your business i.e. @daniellefromaddpeople or @addpeople_dan.
You then need to develop your reputation as being a trusted provider of information, this does not necessarily involve building your followers but ensuring that you are viewed as an expert in your field. When this is established you will soon start to build followers and have your information re-tweeted. Being an industry expert means that you cannot push solely sales and marketing messages at your followers, users will just choose not to follow you anymore. Keep your tweets conversational or personal and keep sales messages to the minimum.
Twitter is a great platform to stay in touch with your customers, although research is important, what is more important is to actually get up and get started! Don’t spend weeks and weeks thinking up your strategy, get your hands dirty and get stuck in before it’s too late and you have missed all the best bits of conversation.