If you’re among those wondering whatever happened to the casual banter around the office water cooler, and why so many of your colleagues remain seated at their desks when they would normally be sauntering out for a tea break.
It’s not that casual banter no longer happens, it’s just that the venue has changed: Chit-chat has abandoned the tea room and gone digital and if you don’t believe it, open up your web browser and look up sites like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Linked-In and Google+, to name but a few (albeit the major players in this arena).
People across the globe are embracing the power of technology and incorporating it into their social interactions on various levels, ranging from the casual catch-up to business networking.
There are some big brands that have identified the phenomenon of social media as a whole new avenue for marketing and customer relationship management and are engaging their customers on social media platforms and enjoying massive expansion as a result.
Maintaining a social media account takes time and dedication, though, because the whole point is to interact with your audience, to give them an opportunity to give you their direct feedback on your service or brand. At the same time, they expect to receive feedback from you, too, and that means monitoring your incoming comments and messages and being ready to answer questions.
Choosing the right platform or platforms will depend largely on the type of business you’re in and what you’d like to gain from being on social media.
So how do you choose? Well, some important points to consider, after you have profiled your prospects and clients thoroughly, are:
Where is everyone?
This is fairly simple. Look at the social networking sites that are most popular among your clients or audience. These are where you would like to be and to start building your brand, especially if you’re already being mentioned here.
How available are you?
Certain platforms, like Twitter, involve lots of time spent on a daily basis, since most of the conversation there occurs immediately. Others allow you a little more freedom and won’t leave your audience feeling frustrated if you’re unable to respond to them instantly.
Who are you looking for?
For the consistent, streaming type communication and activity, the likelyhood of your target audience would be using Twitter as their primary vehicle for social interaction on the web. If it’s your aim to build a more business centred contact base, you’re probably better off looking at a platform like Linked-In.
Different Message, Different Messenger
It could be that you would benefit from signing up for more than one social media account, so that you can deliver different messages to different audiences, using appropriate tools for each.
What are YOU Saying?
Consider the content you’re going to be posting. Some social networking sites are more geared toward video posts or lots of large image files, while others are more suitable for posting links to content on your website or other relevant online material – or even to your posts on other social media platforms.
Yes, it takes some research to find the right option for you and it takes time to maintain it once you’ve started your account. If you’re not active on your social media accounts, they mean nothing. In fact, you run the risk of losing business if you don’t respond to comments and interaction from your audience.
We are happy to do an analysis of your needs in the social media arena and to run and manage your social media accounts on your behalf. In this way, you have eyes and ears on what’s happening with your business online at all times and your audience receives recognition and quick, appropriate responses to their questions and feedback.
Building relationships with your public this paves the way for lasting relationships to be built beyond the web, as greater levels of online interaction lead to increased real-life interaction over time.
Get social media and you’re guaranteed a much wider audience than you ever thought possible. Get social media right and you have a recipe for lasting customer relationships with the added bonus of high quality inbound links from your loyal customers to your sites.