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How to Engage with Potential Customers Online – Social Media

We thought that the readers of this blog might be interested in hearing about Mashable’s list of ‘9 Non-Profits That Get Web Humour‘. This list certainly makes for fun reading, but it also serves as a warning that every business or organisation seeking online social media interaction should heed.

With any type of advertising or marketing, traditional or cutting-edge, offline or online, you need to relate to your target audience. After all, if they don’t pay any attention to what you’re saying, you are unlikely to get the desired increase in sales that made you invest in marketing in the first place. This idea doesn’t seem difficult to grasp for businesses who are operating and marketing themselves in the offline world. Television and print ads are frequently designed and implemented with a particular demographic in mind. It’s rare to see toy adverts on TV during school hours, for example. Ads for makeup or other cosmetic goods always feature conventionally attractive actors. In other words, these efforts are tailored to the customer and to the medium, ensuring that the advertiser is able to obtain maximum value from his investment.

Unfortunately, companies which trade online continue to use the very same tactics that they always have, or simply don’t bother with internet marketing at all. Because there is such a huge potential market available, it’s crucial to maximise the benefit that any internet presence can give to your company. This means that you have to know what sort of person is going to be interested in browsing your site, where they are going to ‘hang out’ online, and how you are going to engage with them in a language that they will both understand and wish to engage with. Humour can be a key part of this, and the internet is home to all sorts of inside jokes and conventions that can be leveraged to encourage conversation.

We know that our clients are too busy running businesses to stay online all day, learning the ins and outs of online etiquette. That’s why we do the work for them by offering social media management services. We know what works and what doesn’t – so leave it with us.

Why BJ Mendelson is Wrong About Social Media Management

As is my wont, I picked up a copy of the Metro yesterday during my commute in order to entertain myself during my lunch break. Can you imagine my horror when I read that social media management for businesses is ‘myth and hype… perpetuated by marketers all over the world’? U.S. comedian BJ Mendelson, who himself has over 760,000 Twitter followers, was loaned a two-page spread to inform readers of the great social media swindle. He would have us believe that any business investing in a social media campaign is throwing their money away. I might be biased, but I beg to differ – and I think that most will agree with me.

Social Media Management Isn’t Magic

It’s true that businesses can’t just set up a Facebook page, post a couple of boring company updates, sit back and watch the cash flow into their coffers. It doesn’t work like that. But, contrary to what Mr. Mendelson says, social media profiles are viable business tools. Instead of thinking of them as a way to plaster your slogan and product across a million screens, it’s better to see them as they were designed: as communication platforms.

The fact of the matter is that almost everybody spends a great deal of time online these days, and that for better or worse, social media has replaced more traditional forms of communication. It’s good to have a Facebook page because the majority of your customers probably use Facebook. You’re talking to them on their terms, through a platform that they have chosen. Twitter is excellent for keeping customers up to date with relevant news and for lending your company a distinct personality, due to its informal ‘pub conversation’ nature. From a more individual perspective, it’s hard to deny that Linkedin is a great way to find and engage with others in your industry – there’s a reason that even the least ‘trendy’ of professionals have a profile there.

Our Expertise Brings Real Results

Effective social media management won’t guarantee that your business will go viral and become an internet sensation. That isn’t to say, however, that your page or profile is an exercise in futility. It is possible to engage with existing and potential customers, stimulating sales or increasing brand loyalty – providing that you put out an appropriate message and respect the etiquette of that particular site. That’s where we come in. Our social media management services can provide your business with expertly crafted profiles, including professional graphic design, and the interaction that your customers will respond to. If you don’t believe us, ask our clients – why would they keep using our services, month after month, if they weren’t seeing a return on their investment?

Users Can Now Email Tweets Directly

In a prime example of the proliferation of social media platforms, Twitter users may now email tweets directly to those who don’t use the site.

social media management servicesAlongside the familiar ‘Reply’, ‘Retweet’, and ‘Favorite’ buttons, there is now a ‘More’ option giving keen Tweeters the ability to keep email contacts informed of the latest trends. The user can also add their own comments on the tweet.

Because links contained within the original tweet remain live when they hit the recipient’s email inbox, this could prove to be a valid marketing tool for small businesses who want to draw attention to positive or exciting messages from themselves or influential figures. However, initial reports suggest that the email mechanism used by Twitter results in a high percentage of failed delivery due to overzealous spam filters. This issue will need to be ironed out before the idea can really take off.

Here at I Say! Digital, we keep on top of the latest social media developments so that we can offer your business the best possible return on investment. Check out our social media management services for more info!

Facebook Extends Messenger to Non-Users

In an apparent attempt to corner yet more of the mobile market, Facebook has rolled out new functionality that will allow Android users to use its messaging service without signing up for an account.

social media managementThe Messenger Android app will now allow smartphone users to utilise the Facebook service by submitting a name and phone number. This move is thought to indicate a desire to snare those who have deleted their account, but who still have friends who are users, and will shortly be rolled out to the iPhone.

By relocating its messaging app into a more open market, the Californian giant is competing with widely-used services such as WhatsApp and Google Voice, and may hope to bolster its mobile credibility with a view to increasing the reach of its advertising. The development may have a beneficial effect on business, either through increased paid advertising potential or the wider spread of ‘viral’ material. If you want advice on how Facebook could help your business, or on any other type of social media optimisation, drop us a line and we’ll have a chat.

 

Chris Brown – How To Use Twitter To Cultivate Your Identity

Chris Brown Leaves Twitter

This weekend’s Twitter furor involving Chris Brown and his misogynistic tirade towards a comedian who instigated an online slapping fight, has seen further petrol added to the fire which so, so many want to burn Brown on. As a result, the “foul-fingertipped” musician has deleted his account, leaving his fans attacking the comedian, Jenny Johnson, through the network. Many critics point to his tweets (not just from this weekend) as a clear representation of his character as a whole. Even if they are not a clear representation of the true person, then this is at least how many perceive him to be, or at least it gives substantial evidence for him to be viewed in this way. It just shows the power that Twitter and social media has in shaping identity. Reputation management by agencies like us, has become it’s own service, thanks to the proliferation of social media in the last decade, because now, people can talk about your business, publicly (the horror!).

This got me thinking about how careful one must be on Twitter today, whether an individual, public figure, or organisation. If you asked 20 people to give an example of “Twitter gone wrong” where a private tweet has been made public, an account has been hacked, or someone has simply tweeted something they shouldn’t have, I’m sure all respondents would give a different example they’ve heard about or seen (with many, many more out there). It’s understandable when you involve factors like consuming too much alcohol, getting caught up in a “flame war” from the safety of your bedroom, or simply not being able to navigate the tiny keys on your phone.

The Aftermath for Brown and JohnsonChris Brown has left Twitter

Brown, for the time-being, has lost a key promotional tool, having dropped off the light blue radar. He hasn’t been forgotten about by any means, as he is still being discussed both on Twitter and elsewhere online (in fact screencaps of his tweets to Johnson were saved and are floating around). Though he is currently on a big European tour, his name has a lot of mud attached to it due to his previous crimes against girlfriend Rihanna. Something like Twitter is incredibly important to preserve the bond a figure has with their audience, especially for Brown and those who still support him. This is probably because Twitter is so direct and personal. Perhaps we will see someone in his management team take the reigns of his account, should Brown return. It would seem incredibly odd in 2012, for a contemporary, popular musician to not be on Twitter.

But what if you’re public profile is limited at the moment? Jenny Johnson has exponentially increased her exposure from where it was, just a week ago. Out of all those comedians out there who has made a crack about Brown in the last three years, her 144-character tweet has made the loudest noise because it got a reply from her target. She’ll be known as the comedian who led to Brown’s Twitter-exile. While she has received an enormous backlash from Brown’s fans, Twitter has proven once more to be a platform for anyone trying to make a name for themselves in our celebrity-obsessed culture;. It will be interesting to see how many of these new followers she can keep, by either exploiting the situation and making it a key focal point of future tweets; or converting those new followers into fans by promoting her material and projects correctly via this platform (and naturally).

How To Use Twitter

The approach one takes to Twitter can be viewed as a choice of several “magical” mirrors into a person’s life; each with a different level of distortion of the public image they have already carved out for themselves, through their work. Below we look at these different approaches, weighing up the pros and cons:

The Straight-Forward Handles

There are those handles which are a tad boring. If you’re already a fan of this person, and have them liked on Facebook, subscribe to their newsletter etc., don’t expect to get anything juicy by following them. Tweets won’t stretch further than being a promotional tool, with little creativity in the language, so it feels a little static or robotic (very Stepford Wife-esque). They may not even tweet themselves, instead having a  “Tweetmaster” tweeting on their behalf; perhaps their management, a publicist or a close friend they trust. The reason for this might be that the individual has little to no clue about social media or technology, and are simply on Twitter because they’ve been told that it’s essential today. Tweets will be strictly about upcoming or ongoing projects, like a new episode of their TV show airing that night, or an upcoming gig. If someone looks after the account for them, they’ll be upfront about it, referring to the figure in the third person. Charlie Sheen has recently revealed that he has a Tweetmaster, which is probably a good thing!

Handles That Go A Little Further

These individuals score higher for effort, embracing Twitter to promote themselves, but will go a little further to put their own personality into their activity. The account may still be managed to some extent, and perhaps verge on being a little too promotional at times, but this kind of Tweeter does try. They might conclude a tweet with a unique sign-off, to indicate it’s actually them tweeting on that occasion e.g. Hulk Hogan signs off with a ‘HH’. These are sometimes the best kind of Tweeter, as while they promote their projects they give you just enough insight or peek behind the curtain, so you feel valued as a follower.

The Pro-TwitterJGL's Twitter feed

These handles mean business. Perhaps to the point where you wonder how they possibly have time to do their job and live the lavish private life that goes with it. You might even get a little sick of seeing their tweets appear so often in your feed. One positive is that (depending on how popular they are of course) there is a slightly better chance they’ll reply to you, if you mention them. What’s also great about these more extensive handles, is that they often give you a completely new perspective of someone, if they’re synonymous with a certain character or image they portray. For example, Rainn Wilson, from The Office, is actually very philosophical which might strike you as odd when compared to his rigid and unsociable onscreen character. Joseph Gordon Levitt heavily promotes his side-projects, often more so than any of his film releases (his handle even takes the name of said project). Zach Braff is another tweeter who is very active on the social network, tweeting pretty much every day. For particularly engaging personalities who hold strong views or can articulate them in a funny or thought-provoking way, like Stephen Fry, these are terrific handles to follow.

If you would like our help maintaining, and even setting up, your social media accounts, browse our social media services or contact us to discuss any problems you may be facing.

 

 

 

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