People are on the Internet. Shocking, I know. If it's so shocking then why are you avoiding it?
Perhaps you're thinking:
- Your customers are too old for social media.
- Your customers don't have time for Twitter.
- YOU don't have time for social sharing.
- How the heck do you work this thing?
Well, we hate to break it to you, but you're wrong. Social media will increase business profits. Welcome to the 21st century. Your 63-year-old customer has been on Facebook for years because it's the best way for him to keep in touch with his grandkids living across the country. Your 72-year-old savvy client loves news updates on Twitter. They're there.
Thank goodness for Marc Ensign's advice in our video interview: social media is not rocket science! Yes, all it takes to work this thing is to be a human--to be yourself. How do you portray your and your company's humanity via social media?
The Best Social Media Rule:
Social media is about the moment. Right now. Remind people who you are, personally and as a company. You have ups and downs. You have preferences and opinions. You go places. You help people, and they help you.
Product? What product?
David Meerman Scott advises companies on How to Turn Your Product Into Experiences, and to ask themselves:
What aspect of your product could lend itself to a social experience? Is there something people talk about and take photos of? What’s dramatic?
What kind of experiences do you and your customers share? Family vacations? Triathalons? Picnics? Naps? Talk about all of it in addition to what your company can do to help people enjoy their life experiences more.
1 : It Only Takes One Fantastic #hashtag
One of the quickest and easiest ways to spread brand recognition is to inspire your customers to share their experiences. Folk Magazine has mastered the hashtag. They came up with one really catchy hashtag that was easy to remember and inspired customers: #LiveAuthentic. To date, there are 1,041,402 posts with this hashtag. The company gives back by highlighting their favorite customer images on their Instagram feed. Here's how it works:
- Think of ONE (just one) catchy and inspiring phrase--that does NOT contain your company name, but inspires a dream, a challenge or an experience. Maybe you highlight one of your values.
- Throw a hashtag in front of it.
- Find a handful of popular Instagrammers who share your vision and get them hashtagging your brilliant phrase.
- Start featuring their images on your instagram thread.
- Watch the community grow!
2: Share "I Can't Wait For the Weekend" Videos
There were probably a lot of marketing dollars spent on this 1-minute, 24-seconds video put out by Black Diamond Equipment. The good news: you just have to share it. What do your customers have in common with this brand's goals and values? How can it inspire them? How can it get them dreaming of weekend experiences out of the office? How can it show them that you share the save values, dreams and goals? How does it relate to their fears and challenges?
How does it remind them that we're all human--even in the digital world?
3: Use Real Pics of Real People
Yup. This is from the same hardcore outdoor company, Black Diamond Equipment. It's not all sponsored athletes and rock 'n' roll here. Their Instagram feed includes pictures of their customers (and their customer's kid!), hanging out. No glossy magazine photo shoot. Just real life. Many of their customers probably have young kids, and are trying to figure out how to continue their love of the outdoors while keeping their little ones in tow. Sharing this pic reminds parents that they can still enjoy their outdoor activities.
Reach out to your community and share pics of people using your product, or doing something that relates to your aspirations for the good life. Maybe your product isn't as cool as outdoor gear, but perhaps your product can free people up to spend time with their families, or solve a problem that will help them relax over the weekend. Take just a few minutes to get creative with experiences and how they can relate to your brand. Inspire people.
4: Human Solutions For Human Problems
Write down the real problems that your customer has every day. How can you help them? Perhaps you don't have the solution for everything, but sometimes even encouraging words can be just what someone was looking for. Cheesy? Maybe. But totally human.
Check out how The Honest Company runs their Twitter account:
Tweet #1 : The Helpful Tweet
"This market bean salad is a delicious (bright!) dish, perfect for #MeatlessMonday! ow.ly/D2vEi #Pinit"
They're definitely going after parents who need healthy meal ideas. And probably parents who are concerned about meat consumption. Would you click on this link?
Tweet #2 : The Educational Tweet
"RT @darthminchin: Know what those #ingredients really are. Awesome resource by @Honest klou.tt/nwrlreaca9qxx"
They continue to cater to parents concerned about the health of their kids. And notice how they talked about themselves without talking about themselves: the ever-useful RT (or Re-Tweet!). One of their fans tweeted about how useful their article was, and they took the opportunity to re-tweet it.
Tweet #3: The Inspiring Tweet
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou bit.ly1zhTJnt #MondayMeditation
Parents get overwhelmed and feel guilty about not doing enough. The Honest Company knows this, and wants to remind parents that they too are learning and growing. Everyone needs a little pep talk, and it's nice when you run into uplifting words on the internet.
Guess how long it takes to Tweet something? Not long. It might take a bit more thought than you'd expect to craft something 140 characters or less...but it's no blog post. It's 140 characters. Start helping people! You can do this multiple times a day. You're helping people, and they'll remember you for it later when they need the product or service that you offer.
You know your product/service better than anyone else, and everything connected to it. As a human being, it's almost impossible to keep your mouth shut about your passion and what you know most about--don't be afraid to showcase your expertise through all of your social media outlets.
Here's 10 Quick and Easy things you can teach via social media. Do 2 of these a day, and you'll be the most helpful business on the block by the end of the week...and the most human! Teaching will show that you're an empathetic business that is listening to customers' challenges and problems. Ready, set, TEACH!
Social media is a great tool to let people know you're human: you know stuff, love stuff and do stuff. Take 20-30 minutes a day to share experiences and insight--your customers will love you for it...and then tell their friends.