At first, it seems like an easy proposition—setting up an account on Facebook or Twitter and keep running updates about your company. After all, millions of teenagers and grandmothers do it every day. But there are unexpected challenges that come with a company staking a claim in new media venues: obstacles that get in the way of maintaining a neat and orderly operation that distributes the content you want while building your own community.
Disruptions to your social media strategy come in two distinct flavors: spam and negative feedback. To manage both, it’s not simply enough to set up static safeguards (ie. fan and comment approval systems); you need to actively police your wall, Twitter feed, or blog comments.
Spam can come as supposed fans posting messages on your own wall: solicitations to visit a specific blog or buy prescription medicine online. Oftentimes, spammers will target your industry specifically to lessen the chance that their missive will be detected. As a good policeman of your content, delete all spam messages immediately, and block the spammer from your system. Trust us, you’ll have a cleaner wall in the long run.
While criticism can be constructive, negative or angry feedback on your wall can be distracting and damage your reputation in an online space. By all means, answer questions and do your best to engage your community, but outright “troll” messages should be deleted. If a message is angry but making a valid point, engage a fan in a more personal way using a messaging system, and leave the public drama behind.
Until next time,
Social media remains an amazing resource for companies seeking to attract quality candidates—without spending large sums of money. The “popcorn message” nature of Twitter allows businesses to present relevant information while skipping everything non-essential. However, it’s still up to you to make your tweets count. Here are a few tips to help you along.
Cover the essentials: Job title, responsibilities, location, and qualifications.
Answer direct messages: It’s impossible to explain the full scope of a job in 140 characters. Many job seekers root out further information by writing direct messages, that can in turn help you connect with potential hires.
Tweetup. Mix up your job posting by hosting hiring events, advertised in part by your Twitter account.
Join networks. If your “followers” list is a little slim, get the word out by joining job-specific networking groups. Your messages will be re-tweeted and you’ll get more impressions per post.
Don’t spam. If you post more than once or twice in day, you’ll be running the risk of annoying your base. Just like the length of your messages, keep things slim.
As the American economy enters a period of recovery and growth—albeit slower growth than many of us would prefer—eyes once again turn toward advertising. Advertising in any economy lays a solid foundation for development of your own, but in times of want, it often takes a back seat to other budgetary concerns.
Advertising, whether for recruitment purposes in building a stronger, more capable company, or in promoting your services and product to customers, is the engine of success. Now, as we enter a period of economic recovery, it’s more important than ever to convince an increasingly consumeristic market to invest in your brand. Advertising will:
1. Make more jobs – Attract the right type of employees to your company, or drive the economy forward through sales.
2. Reduce selling costs – By creating a demand, you’re streamlining the way your product reaches its target destination.
3. Grow company profits – On average, every dollar invested in advertising sees itself multiply by half again. Targeted advertising will grow your investment even further.
4. Find security – By crafting an advertising strategy now, you’re creating a pattern of product recognition and sales that will keep your company solvent for years to come.
Until next time,
If there was ever any doubt, the question is settled: sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have changed the face of business forever. The ability to connect with customers on an individual basis, to answer questions in real-time, and to provide a meaningful forum for brand interaction has made social media a staple for any truly comprehensive marketing strategy. But it isn’t all rose petals and sunshine. Operating social media venues requires time, talent, and strategy. Here are a few approaches industries are taking today.
Banking – Many banks today are slow in developing social media—and with good reason. Considering the negative attention the industry has received in recent years, it’s quite a chore policing message boards and walls for offensive and possibly damaging content. It’s important for banks to take the reins of new media now, however, rather than later—such as in the case of U.S. Bank and the group U.S. Bank Sucks, a Facebook group for sternly-stated complaints.
Amusement Parks – Although more of a niche industry, amusement parks are fertile ground for customrs to talk to each other and discuss favorite rides, memories, and stories. This is evidenced alone by Disney’s Facebook presence of over 22 million fans. Mascots are big business, too—before Shamu’s Feb. 2010 attack, her tweets were reaching over 10,000. After social media publicized the attack, however, Seaworld suspended the program.
Retail Establishments – Though the potential is there, many retail establishments are struggling to find a role for social media on their own. The reason they give is that there’s a large difference between a shopping experience—what customers encounter when they enter a real-world store—and a buying experience, which includes online sales. Staples and Bloomingdales are two heavy hitters in this field, accumulating millions of followers by actively searching out customer questions and providing helpful answers on Facebook and Twitter.
Signing off for now,
Much like Digg, StumbleUpon is a site that’s rapidly gaining popularity. What does this mean for businesses? An opportunity to drive new traffic to your social media sites. StumbleUpon (www.stumbleupon.com) is revolutionary in that it’s a highly personalized experience for every user: as a person votes on what sites he or she likes, the portal picks up on interests and suggests new sites to satisfy their tastes. Think Netflix, only without the monthly fee.
This model is a great business opportunity because, as a business, you have more control over the way your content is presented. Unlike the also-popular Digg.com, registering a site with StumbleUpon is more individualized. You must a) visit a site either through StumbleUpon’s portal or by using their toolbar, and b) type in your URL and then “Thumbs Up” your site.
If you’re the first to register a page on StumbleUpon (say, your company blog), you’re in a very good position. You may set up searchable criteria by listing “topics” that your site covers. You can add tags. You can write a review. You even have the option of naming your site appropriately—something that you might not want to trust to an average web-surfer.
Once your site is in the system, StumbleUpon users can encounter your site if their interests match the particular tags you’ve defined for your page. This is a great feature. By attracting relevant consumers, you’ll be cutting down on spam messages and increasing the odds of generating a dialog concerning your subject material: the Holy Grail for social media content managers.
StumbleUpon is up and coming, and a great diversion for Internet surfers. Turn their rec time into face time for your organization.
Till next time,