Teach A Brand To Fish
Helping Brands Understand Social Media
- Have you tried to help a company that just doesn’t ‘get’ Social Media?
- And then how do you turn over the reins once you’ve got them up and interacting in a real way?
Often the brand involved first needs a lesson in the ‘whys’ of Twitter/Facebook/Blogging etc. Later, helping them with the ‘hows’, is the easy part!
Why should a brand use Social Media at all?
- Be Present
Their customers and fans (and naysayers) are already there. Are they? Especially on Twitter, are they present, are they interacting, are they answering questions and resolving problems? How can they do any of those things if they aren’t monitoring the popular social media venues?
- Customer Service
Think of it in terms of responding friend to friend. And don’t get uptight about responding and solving issues on a weekend at midnight. But a short response with a quick support email address will do wonders. Tell them you will take care of them first thing Monday morning.
- Advertising and Marketing all rolled into one.
Do they crave new users? Then Twitter is the place to put their name and products out there. Get the word out, get new eyeballs on the goods. Use Facebook for ads as well as a place to connect with new fans.
- Retention. Reward loyal fans and users.
Really this should be titled ‘ATTENTION’ VS retention. When you respond to users via Facebook or Twitter or Blog comments they feel loved and appreciated. And will turn into loyal customers. Look for the positive comments and reward them! Give back to your base. Coupons, discounts, and giveaways are all great ways to return the love and keep ‘em coming back for more.
Don’t Do It All for Them
The definition of social media is to be SOCIAL. And helping a company to be social means they have to be personable, and respond as a human!
I’ve found that once I explain the reasons a brand should jump into social media, often the response is: ‘Great! Will you do that for us?’ And up to a point I’m willing. However, more important for the company is to realize it’s much better long term if THEY are the voice behind the Twitter account. And THEY should be the one to check in on Facebook and gauge the activity. And when there is a negative comment on a blog post, THEY should be the voice that responds sincerely and privately to the customer.
Another option is to hire a community manager or a brand ambassador. Someone who can help them connect via these various venues and capitalize on the relationships. Remember though, this person should be just as committed and passionate about the business as the owner or marketing director is. Otherwise you just handed over the microphone to a lukewarm spokesperson. Not a good idea.
Go ahead and jump in as a consultant and run their social media for a few months. But make sure you are teaching them the whys and hows along the way. Tell them from the get go, to have someone in mind who can take over the fishing pole when the teaching time is over. Will this mean you are out of a job at that point?
BUT. If you’ve done your job well, more gigs will grow out of this one, because they will tell 10 people how terrific you are!