So….. you’ve heard that you need to be on Twitter have a facebook fan page, a youtube account and get linkedin!!!
You know that social media is where you need to this year and you have created your pages on all the main platforms. But do you know why?
Without a doubt social media is a highly effective way to increase your network, connect with potential clients, join in the conversation, get feedback about your service and manage your reputation. But it needs attention, you cant just set the profiles up and leave it. To use social media effectively you need to know why you are using it.
I have worked for many years with charities and community groups and I know full well that they are the unsung heroes in society; that they are so busy doing the work that they don’t have time to publicise themselves in the way that the bigger organisations can.
I have been discussing this very issue with Lonsdale District Carers recently. They know that there are hundreds of carers out there locally that are not even aware of what resources available to them. So we are putting together a social media plan to broaden their network and open up the conversations about being a carer.
In preparation I researched what local groups and traders are doing on Twitter and I saw a worrying number of organisations that had set up a twitter account, put out a couple of announcements then stopped tweeting. I have followed these orgs and tweeted them with no response. That looks very much like they have stopped trading, but because of my local knowledge I know that they have not. They have just become another organisation that doesn’t reply. How many people and opportunities are they missing by doing that?
On the other hand a great example of a local trader optimizing social media is Ian @coffeehopper. Tweeting a number of times a day while the coffee roasts, he engages with people and tweets about all things coffee! He comes over as an expert in his field and a guy you would like to meet.
Ian has been tweeting for about a year, he has 833 followers and he told me that Website Traffic & Internet Sales are rising exponentially. He went on to say;
it’s sharpened my writing & marketing skills. I gave an interview to a journalist yesterday & practically bombarded her with a readymade script of well honed phrases trotted off from my recent tweets.
I use mine as a kind of diary that offers a window into the daily life of a special place, Atkinson’s Roastery. It’s a perfect act of micro engagement for customers.
It’s also a University of twitter where I follow peer groups & trends that inform our Strategy & position as Market leaders in the Independent Café Sector.
Who knows, one day I may get round to blogging! But right now a tweet is all I’ve got time for in the rhythm of work in the life of a Roaster.
Ian has worked out a highly successful strategy for himself.
Of course everyone will use social media in different ways and depending on your product and your personality, you may favour a certain platform over another. Ian is one of many that has found the right platform for him that fits with his schedule.
So social media does work for organisations big and small, but before you launch into it blindly and make a mess or give up, take some advice, understand what it involves and figure out your strategy…. What is your preferred style? What time can you allocate to it per day or week? And how will you ensure you engage with people?
Finally a word from successful local entrepreneur Nikki Hesford @MissFitUK . . My Social Media advice: If there’s just ONE day you’re super active on Twitter, make it a Friday! Dont let #ff recommendations slip away!
Are you a small organisation that has a social media success story? Share your tips here.