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Ramblings on Social Media Best Practices December 19, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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1 comment so far

Now that we have been practicing for some time, we are aware of good (and, bad) ways to employ social media. Opinions will vary about the ‘best of the best’. That is the beauty of the web, it always changes. From a book summary I read on social media, here are some of the best practices according to the author at this point in time. The full abstract about the book is available here. This is not an exhaustive, all inclusive list. The basics are covered and should align with your current techniques for using social media effectively.

There are multiple platforms* available for your content and they should be used relative to the target audience. Perhaps due to timing, one platform not mentioned is Goolge+. Having likeable content is a fundamental criteria for success. Get your customer to listen to you and then….

  1. Listen first, and never stop listening – You want to know what customers think. Ask and they will tell you. Next, the most important thing to do is listen. Closing the loop by acting on what your customers tell you will prove that you not only listened, but that you understand and can do something about it.
  2. Define your target audience better than ever – There are many tools that allow you can focus on your true demographics for your product/service(s). Define them and determine what will  make them ‘like’ your content.
  3. Think – and act – like your consumer – Remember, it’s about them, not you. Don’t sell them; instead, provide content this is of interest to them. Get them talking about topics of interest and find ways to integrate your wares into their lifestyle.
  4. Invite your customers to be your first fans – Word of mouth (WOM) is key here. The more likes you get, the better your credibility. Be clear about your value proposition and define what is in it for them. Remember, there is no value add if only your employees are interacting with your content.
  5. Create true dialogue with, and between, your customers – Related to listening and being genuine. Get them talking about you to leverage the WOM effect. When your customers share tips, tricks with others, it proves they are engaged. It also saves you from providing customer support directly. Help guide the discussion by acknowledging comments – and, correct where needed.
  6. Be Authentic – Get connected by being demonstrating an interest in your customers. Personalize it by including your name.
  7. Be Honest and transparent – You can spot a phony a mile away. Your customers can too.
  8. Integrate social media into the entire customer experience – Another fundamental for success and canot be stressed enough. Make sure everyone who interacts with your customers has the same message and is aware of promotions and specials. Regardless of how they find you, it should be consistent messaging. The last thing you want is a dis-connect among channels and mis-managed expectations from your customers.  If they are online, they can tell their network about you – the good and the bad.
  9. Don’t sell! Just make it easy and compelling for customers to buy – They already found your content and are engaged. Don’t insult them with a bland sales pitch. State the (relative) value proposition clearly and make it easy to ‘Add to Cart‘.

*Platforms range from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Blogs and specialized networks (e.g. – flickr, yelp, etc.)

Having a dialogue with your customers is easy using a social media platform. I would add that you keep in mind how you want to be treated. After all, we all are consumers in the end.

FaceBook jumps the shark July 19, 2010

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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2 comments

One thing I’ve noticed with trends and fads is that looking back on them, we usually say “What were we thinking?” With the passage of enough time, it can be difficult to remember what motivated us at the time. The reason(s) why something that was so important changed into the commonplace and then, a drudgery or worse, not cool anymore becomes lost over time. We’ve all seen example of this and the same progression will occur with Social Media. I maybe ahead of the curve of this, but there will come a time when FB will no longer be de rigueur but, instead,  passe. Will you remember where you were at this pivotal future moment? It will happen at some point. Certainly not a question of if, but of when. When it does, will that moment become an indelible memory for you?  One social media statistic I heard recently was that if FaceBook (FB) was a country, it would the 3rd largest in the world with over 500M users, er, ‘netizens’. Will they experience the same future gestalt and log off FB never to return?
Another thing I’ve noticed is that trends based solely on technology have a finite lifetime. We tend to stay with something even when it is past its’ prime. Comfort, resistant to change, the migration effort and learning curve involved all play a part of staying with status quo, the familiar. We accept trade-offs and shortcomings; we settle. Until, of course, a game changer comes along. The bright, new shiny bauble that excites you. Entices you; teases you. You have to have it.

As someone once said ‘Technology is cyclical’, there will be another widget/new thing to displace FB and occupy our time. It will have to be better, more convenient, easier. Also, it will need to make money. At some point in the (not too distant?) future, there will be a seminal moment when many of us will say “FB? I haven’t used it in months. Who does that anymore?”

Predictions invited – what lifetime do you think FB will have? We will still use it in 5 years? 3 years? Next year?  Let me know – if I get enough responses, I update the post with a summary of the feedback.  Thanks in advance, til then see you on FB. 😉