Archive: March 2011

You Don’t Get Social Media

Over the last few weeks I’ve been asked “How do I use social media the best?“. I’ve watch companies continually pushing information with little or no interaction. Companies interacting but in a completely robotic manner and even some that are still just trying to add as many followers as possible (that’s soooo 2006). What’s clear to me is that many don’t get social media (especially using it as a company brand) and as for the people asking the question, well you’re just as lost.

HOWEVER!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve seen it. Big companies, corporate giants, are “getting” social media. I was blown away. Just after someone asked me the question in bold, I tweeted that I really appreciate Comedy Central’s social media play – specifically their Facebook posts. I said this because I see that they are very active, they have a great understanding of their audience and they post a variety of content. They’re not blatantly shoving ads in my face and are using the ultimate social media tool, humor – yes, I guess they have a leg up on that one. Not 1 hour went by before @ComedyCentral tweeted me back this…

What is this?!?! No ad, no plug, not even a link. Just a simple thank you and even an allusion to the content on my website. Joe Schmo at the Comedy Central computer terminal took the time to not only visit my website, but read my content and tweet back to me in a humorous way.

Why is this amazing? I’ve heard tons of stories of the small biz or entrepreneur use social media correctly. But BIG BAD Comedy Central using it the right way blows my mind! It gives me hope. They reached out and touched me in a personal way and showed me they took at least a moment to find out who I am. THAT’S HOW YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

Another short example. I had a conversation with a friend about how the local Chase branches were awful to work with and how I moved to Wells Fargo. That same day, Wells Fargo hit me back with this…

There is a shining light that big companies are watching, learning and willing to be there for their customers. I don’t often say this, but heed the examples of the big companies mentioned here today. Learn from their actions. Think about how your followers would feel if you reached out personally and the trust you can instill in that relationship simply by taking a moment to know them. You’ll change a customer to a devoted follower.

Just think, a kind word on Twitter might turn into an appreciative blog post burned into the walls of the internet left to be searched for generations to come!

Manage Your Marketing – Internalize

The next post in the short countdown series to show you how to manage your marketing on a daily basis.

#2 Internalize Your Relationship Building
We touched on this concept in the first post of this countdown series (#5 Templates). You and your employees know your business best. They also know your customers very well after working with them day in and day out. Why would you leave it up to some marketing company to manage your social media?? I just doesn’t make sense. Part of the DripMedia philosophy is YOU managing YOUR marketing on a daily basis. You know your company culture the best, you’ve established the relationships with your customers and know how to address them best in your unique tone.

So do it. Not just you, but your team. Trust your team. Involve them in developing customer relationships. It doesn’t matter if they make the reminder phone calls for outstanding invoices. Give them the freedom to establish a relationship or grow the existing one. There is an opportunity around every corner to turn around, start or grow a relationship with your customers.

The biggest reason to involve your team is that you simply can’t do it all by yourself. Face the fact that if you have employees that interact with customers, you just don’t have the close relationship with every single one. Leverage your teams downtime and existing interactions to build relationships. Give them a part in your social media strategy and allow them to answer questions and respond to comments. It will be the best thing you’ve done for your business in a long time.

*It goes without saying that you hold your team accountable and give them guidelines (do’s and dont’s) that fit your company brand when interacting with existing and potential customers.

Merlin U Ward
DripMedia

Managing Your Marketing – Scheduling

The next post in the short countdown series to show you how to manage your marketing on a daily basis.

#3 Scheduling

Use one of the social tools and take 1 hour of one day to schedule all your social media posts. Select news and articles relevant to your audience to be posted through-out the week. No need to go too crazy, just 1-2 posts a day. These are articles you feel would enlighten your audience and create good conversation. Being relevant will be the tricky part, but if you watch your feeds on a daily basis (as suggested in #4) you should know what your followers are talking about and be able to pique interest.

Great places to find news: Mashable, Digg, TechCruch, TED. Take a day to find quality blogs on your industry to pull content from. These will be great resources! Sharing news is a great way to show you stay up to date in your field and also create great conversation with your audience.

Merlin U Ward
DripMedia

Managing Your Marketing – Timing

The next post in the short countdown series to show you how to manage your marketing on a daily basis.

#4 TAKE TIME!
Marketing is a business process. It doesn’t just happen and its certainly not a new age rotisserie oven – you can’t “set it and forget it”. It requires your attention! Fortunately, with the tools available to you, marketing can be easily scaled and manged in about 1 hour a day.

5 days a week you should spend one hour online answering comments and tweets and reaching out to new social consumers. Also, send and respond to emails and return phone calls. 1 hour, that’s it! We don’t want to hear, “I can’t find an hour”. That frankly is B.S. You probably spend an hour watching tv or playing on Facebook in the first place. Now, instead of watching yet another murder be solved or checking all your close friends’ status updates, take a little time to connect with your consumers and answer the questions the have for you.

Merlin U Ward
DripMedia

The Republic of Twitter

At first glance and skimming main point of Twitter’s new API announcement, my thoughts were “Twitter is a bunch of jerks.” They loudly and clearly state they want a unified user experience across all registered Twitter Apps and will enforce their policy on anyone who doesn’t follow. This instantly reminded me of the tyrannic hammer they brought down on UberTwitter for “policy violations.” Litterally shutting of access to API until specific demands were met.

I read this announcement a few times (5 to be exact) and pulled out all the sentiment. First, consider Twitter as a business. User experience is going to be very high on their priority list. It’s true what they say, there are many apps and all offer a slightly different twitter experience. That’s why we have “favorite” apps. I recently just converted to Hootsuite from Tweetdeck because I realized a better experience. What I feared when reading the announcement was that my experience would change! After calming down, I realized in all likelihood it would not. I used to be a TwiDroyd user, one of the companies Twtter cracked down on, and their experience even after the changes, weren’t altered too drastically. Second, understand Twitter has grown significantly and has become more influential in that past year than I think even the guru’s has expected it to be. There have been 100′s of third party apps hitching on the train of ever increasing Twitter users. It was never going to be a free ride. At some point some governance of Twitter and it’s third party developers was going to take place.

In their announcement, I don’t think Twitter is becoming a microblogging Nazi – although that was my first impression. In fact, I believe they are truly open to developers. In their recent growth they’ve recognized the importance of a unified experience across the board – a great business move. Is it going to be a pain the ass for some developers, yes, but it’s not going to ruin anyone who had a quality product in the first place.

The true test will be to see what Twitter considers the best user experience. Will they, in spite of their wants, listen to the wants of users and developers a like, in true democratic fashion.