Credit: Social Media Image via Shutterstock
In the constantly changing world of social media, companies must stay ahead of the curve in order to take full advantage of all that social media has to offer. Doing that, however, may require companies to change what they are already doing in regards to social media.
David Lee King, author of "Designing the Digital Experience" (CyberAge Books 2008) and "face2face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections" (CyberAge Books 2012) offers the following tips to help improve social media marketing in 2013.
- Focus on Conversations
Many organizations and businesses have been using social media status updates as a broadcasting tool. They send out notices of events, sales, or coupons. Possibly, they have used social media as an easy outlet to send out press releases and important corporate announcements.
Guess what? If your organization focuses primarily on sending out corporate communications, your customers will tune out your organization and un-friend you in a heartbeat.
In 2013, instead of using social media as a one-way broadcast tool, work on starting and continuing conversations with your customers.
- Focus on the Visual
For the most part, many businesses and organizations have been posting text-heavy status updates in their social media accounts. That makes sense in text-based Twitter, but not so much in Facebook. In fact, Facebook best practices show that when you do one simple thing - add a photo or a video to your post - engagement increases by 100% or more.
So get those cameras out of your pockets (yes, that iPhone or Android smartphone makes a great point-and-shoot camera), and start taking photos around the office, the warehouse, or the store.
- Focus on Video
Here’s my guess - most likely, you haven’t made many videos for your organization. If you have created some videos, it probably resembled a TV commercial. That’s not what your customers want to watch.
Instead, get to the point immediately - Youtube suggests that the first 15 seconds are critical to connect with viewers. So don’t waste those seconds with titles, fade-ins, and credits. Just start sharing your main points. Then post that video to two places - Youtube and Facebook.
- Focus on Next Steps
Many times, organizations post information to their social media accounts, but don’t include anything for customers to do. They don’t include a next step.
Make sure that everything you do includes some type of 'ask.' That ask can be as simple as asking customers to 'friend or fan' a Facebook Page, or then ask might be to click a link that takes them to a new product or a buy-it-now page. More people will click if you actually ask them to click. Because of this, make sure to provide customers with some next steps, and actually invite them to take that next step.
- Focus on your Customers!
Finally, most businesses and organizations, believe it or not, don’t actually focus on their customers! Instead, they focus on their stuff, on their showroom floor, or on their sales staff.
In 2013, let’s focus on our customers. Engage them in conversation. Ask them if they like what they’re seeing. Ask them to take next steps, and invite them into your organization.