- You had no expectations.
- You just started your business.
- You were hoping it would take off.
- But, not so suddenly!
So now what?
As a start up, you have so many other things to worry about. Getting investors, managing day-to-day operations, dealing with production and management issues. Then there is marketing… and now social media has made you a Superstar before you had time to blink.
With all that you have to do just to get through the day how on earth are you going to manage this?
This is not the first time we have heard this “complaint” at our office. Many times, companies come in with a new brand and they usually don’t know what to expect from social media. They hear of viral campaigns and they hope theirs will be the one. This does not happen often. But, when it does, it can be overwhelming.
Next steps. Examining the tasks ahead.
First, create a management strategy that outlines all the objectives. A hard look at priorities is in order to keep organized. Social media has many moving parts and important pieces can fall through the cracks.
Managing the fan-base.
When there is an onslaught of activity on your social channels, you have to address it in a timely fashion. But, we can’t all work all day and night 24/7. Watch your social media channels to get an idea of how your followers interact with your brand. So we start by thinking about our fans. The first thing to look at is what are a follower’s needs? What makes them tick and what do they like about the brand? This brings me to the next section.
Create the right content to encourage continued interest.
If it’s a particular food or image that got their attention, then we create more images that impact in the same.
For example, we launched a new vegan product for a client that was well received. This viral activity led us to create a contest. Users would cook their own pizza using the product and share via Instagram or Facebook. This again got viral of engagement as fans “ate up” the contest!
As a general rule, I am only a fan of contests when they are on topic. However, it’s best to test out a few simple posts to see if there is any engagement before taking the time to create a work intensive contest.
Answering customer service questions via social media.
Often customer queries can create a viral traffic stream. It could be anything from a simple question about the product or the availability in their area. We personally acknowledge all posts. Then a general more in-depth answer is written and posted for all followers. Emoticons and stickers are also good means to show appreciation keep the conversation lively.
Chats and other forms of communication.
Twitter is an excellent platform to engage consumers. I follow the hashtag #custserv on Twitter for more feedback from a general audience. This enables me to check sentiment from customers. This feedback is also a goldmine of information and is helpful in understanding general needs. Other forms of communications that we analyze include email, Facebook comments, and Twitter chats.
Don’t forget to say “Thank you”:
Your social media presence has made you a mini celebrity. The biggest takeaway in my opinion is to acknowledge your fabulous friends and followers. We are big advocates of giveback programs and re-posts from fans (with their permission).
When a die-hard fan spends lots of time interacting and engaging with the brand, we usually encourage our clients to write personal notes to thank them. Product swag is also a great idea to send them, plus it’s free advertising.
This new era of social marketing gives many a small business an opportunity to get noticed, make an impact and promote products and services. Brand ambassadors, bloggers, active social media channels and a good marketing strategy to tie it all together will get you lasting coverage and increased brand awareness to drive sales. It’s a shame not to take advantage of it.