Social media provides unprecedented opportunities for brands of all shapes and sizes. Not only can you transmit and receive up to the minute information, but you can also interact with current and potential customers. The thing about interaction is that it’s a two-sided deal. There are a lot of companies out there who are doing it well, but there are some who are not. I tweeted this last week, and I really believe it should be the new mantra: If someone is saying nice things about your brand on Twitter, reach out & thank them! It’ll encourage them to continue doing so! People want to know that brands are people too. They want to know you’re listening and you care what they have to say.
As someone who has managed social media presences for two companies without real “products,” an online ad network and a non-profit, I simultaneously envy and glare at those who do have products and/or brick and mortar establishments and don’t take advantage of them. Your opportunities are two-fold: encourage potential customers and make them feel wanted, and maintain relationships with current customers so they feel appreciated. Some examples:
Person tweets: Thinking of trying the new @NameOfRestaurant for lunch today…
Company responds: We’d love to have you! Our NameOfDish is our most popular lunch special! Let us know what you think.
Person tweets: The clothes in the window of @NameOfStore are so cute! Must resist!
Company responds: Aww, thanks! If you give in, we’ll give you an extra 10% off, just show this tweet to the cashier
Person tweets: Introducing cousin to the wonder that is @NameOfFoodTruck!
Company responds: Awesome! Always love to have new fans. Thanks for the support!
Listen to what people are saying, and respond. Ask questions, give discounts, hold contests…all of these are opportunities to interact with the people who are listening to what your brand has to say. And for the love of flying monkeys*, SAY THANK YOU! It’s so easy, and it goes a long way. We value other people’s opinions, so RT the compliments to show the rest of your followers that someone said something nice about you. It’s okay to brag when someone else is doing it for you. Get to know the people who tweet nice things about you often. Foster relationships with them and you will turn them into advocates for your brand.
Find someone to tweet for your corporate account who not only has their finger on the pulse of company culture, but also understands the social media space. It’s okay if not everyone in your organization understands the value of these tools (or how to use them for that matter). If you do it right, you’ll be able to show them in no time.
*Yes, I did make a Wizard of Oz reference.