I need to admit something. Frankly, it’s not something that I am proud of. I spend way too much time on Twitter. I know what you’re thinking – who doesn’t? I should probably be more forthcoming, I spend so much time on Twitter than when I’m not on the site (either via my computer or mobile device) I am constantly wondering what breaking news is being missed and most likely have a twitch. In order to avoid that panic attack I simply just spend most of my free time, and time I should probably be doing other things, scrolling through the thousands of tweets that flow through my timeline daily. If there were a Tweeting Anonymous group then I would be the Grand Poobah at the meeting (for the non-Flinstone fans in the audience, you can find the meaning of poobah here). Now my main reason for using Twitter is my desire to keep up to the minute on what’s happening in the world. I do this by following thousands of Twitter accounts. A perk of following so many different individuals and organizations is getting to see which of these entities is the most successful at engaging their followers. It’s pretty easy for Lady Gaga to keep her followers engaged, but much more work needs to be put in by organizations and businesses. In fact, the right time and energy investment with social media sites, like Twitter, can help your business reach more customers and communicate more often with them.
Today, candidly, you NEED to keep in constant contact with your customers and clients. Follow the below five tips on how to use social media to accomplish this and grow your business:
- Have a plan of attack. What social media sites do you think your customers use most? Have you asked your customers which, if any, of these sites they visit? The answers to these questions will help guide you in crafting your plans on which sites you are going to use and what information you will post on them.
- Reach out to a specialist. There has been an entire industry born from the social media boom. Entire companies have sprung up with their sole purpose of helping businesses compete in the ultra-competitive social media space. It certainly won’t hurt your chances of making this endeavor a successful one by reaching out to one of these companies. If you don’t think you can afford one of these companies then check out the many individually run social media consulting agencies.
- Who posts your content? This may seem trivial but think about the ramifications of the information that will be posted on behalf of your business. Is it someone who has experience using social media sites? What types of freedom do they have in responding to posts or inquiries from your clients? The answers to these questions are important if you, the business’ decision maker, is not the one doing the Tweeting or posting. Make sure you have set rules and review all content prior to it making its way out to the internet. Once it’s out there, then it is there to stay.
- Create a schedule of information to post or tweet. If you are going to embrace social media, and use it to connect with your customers, then make sure that you are actually going to use it regularly. There might be no worse image you can give off to the Twitter-verse than having an account which goes unused. Create a daily, weekly and monthly schedule for the items you want to post or Tweet. Also make sure to set regular reminders to check for messages or direct tweets. You don’t want your customers to communicate with you and then never get a response!
- Make sure your content gets a response. If you end up posting information that your customers don’t want, or need, then your posts will become the virtual equivalent of those flyers you receive in your mailbox and get immediately discarded. Use your social media forums to generate excitement for upcoming events, provide discounts for goods or services, find out information by posing questions and creating a relationship with your followers. These are the reasons you chose to be on social media sites, so don’t forget that!
With the number of smartphone users now exceeding non-smartphone users, how you stay in touch with your customers is rapidly changing. Don’t be the last Wepay Store or small business to the social media dance, or you just may find yourself dancing alone.
Please check out this great article on other great ways to drive business using social media.
If you enjoyed this article please follow my useless ramblings on twitter @joshuabrier.