Social media, and using it effectively in marketing is an art, not a science. There’s no equation to follow and the most effective way to use it varies from business to business. But there are a few commonsense techniques that any business can use to give good insight into how they work.
It surprises us how many companies are using social media, but in a way that all they are doing is constantly shouting their message, instead of interacting with consumers. If you take a look at their Twitter stream and you see no “@” signs, no conversations going on, then something isn’t working right. All you see is them talking and hoping someone is listening. Whatever happened to the social part of social media? Social media is only effective if you are in fact, well- social!
People are really good at avoiding advertising and have effectively put up walls around themselves so they aren’t bombarded, so when you’re planning on using social media as an advertising tool, consider how you’re going to break through those walls. The first step is to talk to them, not at them. Start asking your followers questions. Ask them about their blogs, their websites, the cute picture of a baby they have as their profile pic (don’t be too stalker-esque!). Be courteous and be interested. When someone replies to you, reply back to them. When someone mentions you or retweets one of your tweets- thank them and return the favor! It’s really not all that difficult to figure out how to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool- treat your followers the same way you would treat your friends and customers.
Using Twitter as an engagement tool can be a valuable promotional tool and aside from that can offer current and potential customers a deeper perspective into you and your business style. Are you active and engaging on Twitter? Then you’re likely active and engaging in the office or store with your clients. Are you cold and absent in responses on Twitter? That may be a sign of the customer service they would receive from your business. The way you manage your twitter account speaks volumes about how you do business – make sure it’s saying the right things.