This is a guest blog post written by Andrea Hewett, Social Media Business Director
for Holt Marketing and Management Services, Inc.
The world relies heavily on information. There’s even a key department in most businesses dedicated to IT (for those of you unfamiliar, IT stands for Information Technology)! We need information to apply for credit cards, bank accounts, even a library card! So very many people are becoming victims of identity theft these days that people are going out of their way to protect their information. Even hiring another company to monitor and ensure their information remains their own.
But what about the information you are volunteering on a daily basis? If you are an effective business leader, chances are that you already have a strong social media strategy in place. If not, well my contact information will be made available at the end of this blog. Anybody with at least half of a brain would know you are not going to share your vital information via social media. You wouldn’t expect to see a posted offer met with a comment of “I’ll take one, here is my credit card information…0000 1111 2222 3333 exp: 01/01 sec: 123.” If you do, let me know so I can then write a blog about it…I’ll call it “The Stupidest Things People have done on Social Media.”
Yet while we know the importance of keeping our vital information private, few are actually posting the right information at the right time to maximize on their social media presence. I recently had the good fortune to attend Social Mitten, Michigan’s largest social media conference. With excellent presentations given by industry leaders (learn more here: http://www.socialmitten.com/) there was a plethora of premium information for those looking to get the best results from their social sharing. From identifying trends (where they were and where they are going), researching demographics (who frequents which social media sites), acting on creative ideas (the importance of getting feedback), building relationships (for B2B & B2C), the importance of positive reinforcement; all the way to the rules you should follow on social media, there was something to gain for everyone in attendance.
I felt that one of the most important key takeaways from this event is posting the right content in the appropriate amount for the individual platform. While some would argue “The More you Share, the More you Care;” that simply isn’t the case in social media, especially in terms of business. You should definitely post content daily, but whereas several daily posts are a better framework for Facebook and Twitter, one post is sufficient for LinkedIn and other work related sites. Less interruptions = More Production = Happy Boss!
So how do you know what the right content is? A good rule of thumb is to maintain a positive outlook and promote content that is specific to your industry or your brand. Should you comment as a business about tragic news stories, negative events in our history, death or celebrities’ personal lives? If your business was not a part of this story or event personally, then absolutely not! Should you respond to bad press about your company? If you can find a way to show you care and that you are attempting to resolve the issue, then yes…that is great customer service! If you can’t, focus on making your business better and give it some time to settle. Your true followers may come to your defense or the issue may be viewed as petty and be forgotten as quickly as Twitter gets a new post.
What you should concentrate on is information that will help and delight your customers and your industry. Content that is all about you and what you do has the same effect on social media as it does in real life; it causes people to tune out really quickly! Are you trying to provide products and services to help people with their needs or did you start your company so you could brag about being a business owner? Show your friends and followers that what is important to them is important to you.
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? 80% of your content should be about your fans, what would interest them, helpful tips, etc. Only 20% should be about your brand, or what you have to offer.
A clever example: One of the social accounts I manage follows a restaurant. This is not a chain restaurant, or even a widely known restaurant. Every day, this restaurant posts its daily special on social media. I have, on more than one occasion, been drawn to this post based on my preferences. Why is this method smart? Have you ever gone into a restaurant based on a sign visible from the road of something they are serving (or avoided it for that reason)? Have you ever sat down and asked right away what the daily specials are, trying to take a little of the sting away from your pocketbook? This restaurant isn’t talking about how long they’ve been in business or what cleaning methods they adhere to or even how they picked out the décor to make it a more inviting place…they are simply giving the customer what they want to know before they even get there.
One last thing to consider with the 80/20 rule is that you should be sharing posts of your fans and connections. Should you share someone’s comment on Facebook that they just got their teeth cleaned? No, that’s not what I’m talking about here. Share their useful content that is relative to their industry and may interest your connections as well. Comment on questions they post if you can offer a viable solution. Like their blog posts if the article contains a positive message that is useful to all. This shows that you care about their needs and in helping them to succeed as well.
Should you share great content of your competitors? That is one question that I have posed with some members of the social media industry and have received mixed feelings on the subject. Some feel there is a fine line between learning from influencers to give the clients/customers more useful information, and flat-out handing them to your competitors. What are your thoughts?
We want to hear from you! Please comment below and share with others so we can truly have the best practice for engagement on social media.
Need help with your strategy? Click here to contact me directly at Holt Marketing and Management or call 989-791-2475 ext. 15 and ask for Andrea.Visit us: