In a world where time is money, the hours spent on Twitter and Facebook can be quite costly. Is your time spent on social networking paying off, or is it taking valuable time away from other money generating tasks? Are you pursuing your Twitter account with the reasoning that everyone else is doing it so it must work? Understand effective uses of Twitter and Facebook so you’re not wasting your time blasting boring tweets about how great your company is.
Instead, adopt social networking into your customer service department and use it as a method to offer value while interacting with potential customers.
Using social media as a place to broadcast your advertising message is a great way to lose friends. Followers on the receiving end of your messages are the same consumers that pay monthly for TiVo as a tool to skip over ads. Don’t assume they want hourly updates of your current promotion. That form of pushy marketing isn’t an effective long term plan.
Instead, be authentic, transparent, and generous. People are looking to have fun and relax while interacting with friends, meet new people, and find help.
Don’t be afraid to have a personality. If you’re a caring person, let it show. Not everyone’s a comedian, so don’t try if you’re not funny. Be transparent and talk with your friends and followers. Take the time to find out who they are and their current interests. Think like a politician at a crowded fair. Find out your potential customers’ problems then offer a solution.
It’s the most effective form of a sales presentation.
Consider how Best Buy is using Twitter. The electronics giant is encouraging customers to ask for help by sending their questions to @twelpforce. Any Best Buy employee has the freedom to answer these questions. The employees are instructed to provide answers, be empathetic, and not be pushy in convincing people to purchase from Best Buy. What’s resulted is a friendly atmosphere where people can gain trust with Best Buy through knowledgeable answers to their electronics questions. Best Buy is boosting their image and customer loyalty.
Would you rather buy from a company that makes you feel comfortable or sends you to a different coworker because “that’s not their department?”
Natasha Case, owner of Coolhaus, is finding loads of success using twitter and facebook to promote her business. Often tweeting about the daily specials, she’s also getting her fans in on the promotion efforts. Fans like to take pictures of the stylish truck, or themselves eating a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich, which are then uploaded to Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites.
Natasha uses twitter to send birthday wishes, architecture trivia that can be answered at the truck for a daily discount, and the whereabouts of their truck. She’s using social media effectively to create excitement for her brand that has resulted in a raving fanbase.
The most effective use of social networking is to get people involved in a conversation about your brand. People browsing their facebook and twitter pages are less open to advertising. You have to catch them by engaging them in valuable conversation. You can start by joining groups that are related to your field. If you have the ability you can start a group. Starting a group gives you freedom to steer a conversation towards your brand.
When chiming in, always add value to the discussion, your friends, and the group as a whole. Answer questions, post helpful articles, participate in a way that reflects your expertise and personality. To help find potential customers only follow users interested or related to your services. You can search Twitter to find people talking about specific keywords. If they look like they’re talking about something interesting to you, follow them.
They may follow you in return. Lastly, don’t let social networking take away time from in-person networking. Continue to attend networking events and make those sales calls. Avoid getting addicted and watch the minutes. Spending excess time on Facebook doesn’t equate directly to extra sales.