By Steve @BubbleJobs
Yes, I seriously just asked that question. There is now a whole generation who has never lived in a world without social media and I’m pretty sure the majority would argue that yes, social media is definitely a good thing…
But I asked the question because of a Facebook discussion on which I commented, and although the thread was about how bands use social media, the positive aspects and pitfalls of how bands use social media can be applied to business users.
The point being made during the Facebook discussion was as follows:
‘Social media has made it harder for a band to promote themselves because there is now too much information being broadcast to the potential audience.’
Well yes, it is easy to use social media to engage with your audience, but to fully engage with them there has to be a conversation. I play in two bands and yes, we will inform our social media audience about upcoming shows on multiple platforms, but unless our social media audience is engaged with us they will probably ignore this information… I know I do if it comes from a band that haven’t chosen to engage with me directly via social media.
So how do we ensure our social media audience engages with us? Well, you will need great social media management for a start. Sure, your Twitter feed can be set up to broadcast information about your company, but after a while your audience will stop paying attention if there is no opportunity for interaction.
Business users (just like bands) need to kick-start some of these conversations; it’s no good waiting for your audience to contact you. Your social media manager/team will need to be active across a number of platforms, engaging with your audience and working to attract a greater following. Commenting and sharing are great ways to engage with your audience… and it doesn’t always need to be related to your product or service – we all know that a well-used Grumpy Cat meme will probably get a better response than a post about how great your product or service is!
You will need to let your social media manager/team inject some personality into what they do. Yes, you need to adhere to a ‘social media policy’, but your social media audience is made up of real people, they don’t want a corporate robot engaging with them on social media. Some of the best examples of social media interaction are when there has been relaxed, friendly communication, injected with some personality and even humour (where appropriate) – and I know from experience that these are the companies that I will remember and engage with further.
Social media, when used well, is the icing on the promotional/customer service cake. The clue is in the title, ‘social’; don’t be afraid to use it as a conversational tool – by doing so you will find your audience more receptive to your communication.