Social media has changed the landscape of marketing business drastically; it offers the potential to communicate with your customer base in real time – something so valuable that it was only a pipe dream 20 years ago. In this blog post, we’ll talk you through some of the things we’ve learnt as we’ve launched our social media – and we’ll also share with you some shortcuts that will add momentum to your launch. We have managed to build a great foundation within only 3 weeks, we are over 700 followers on twitter and over 120 likes on facebook. For a team that was completely inexperienced in using social media for business, this is a start we’re proud of!
So, how did we do this?
When using social media to market and promote your business the best way is the simplest and hardest way; using the personal touch. Many people hide behind their company page, but ‘people buy from people’ is as true on social media as it is in face to face meetings. Be friendly, keep it fresh and engage your followers.
We blog, we comment, we tweet and retweet, we follow and like and most importantly we reciprocate. People respond best to kindness and interest. This means each like gets a like back and each follow is returned. The networking hours on Twitter really help with this, some of the hashtags we have found most useful are
#wineoclock, an hour in which to tweet about your business and what you do, 6-7pm every night
#FBlikehour, an hour devoted to getting people to view and like your facebook page, 8-9pm on Tuesdays
#PinHitshour, this is where you post the link to your pinterest boards and ask people to follow, 8-9pm on Thursday,
These are all hosted by @Awardingwomen, who are amazing tweeps who have welcomed us and helped us out massively!
Other networking hours are
#directorschairhour, another hour devoted to promotion, 8-9pm on Wednesdays hosted by @directorstweet,
@UKlikeladder hosts half an hour of facebook likes, comment on their picture with your link, scroll to view and like as many as you can,
All day Friday there is #FollowFriday which is the whole of twitter helping each other out.
The rules for these hours are simple, reciprocate all likes and follows and make sure you’re using the correct hastags. There are many more and they are for everybody, no favouritism.
These networking hours are not at all hard to find either, they simply popped up on our news feed and we joined in. There is always an element of worry that you might look silly, but each hour has its own purpose and if you need help, just ask.
Always lead with who you are and what you’re doing, i.e. @Skylarksnest ‘ We are on a mission to bring you the best and most original Cockpot ™ designs #flockers’ <— that is one of our hashtags. For twitter newbies, a hashtag is your own personal tag and it is the best way for people to link all of your accounts. Another of ours is #callitaweek which we use on a Friday to encourage people to tell us how their week has been/their weekend plans. We also use #nestnatter, this applies to all tweets and is a general term we use when we are chatting, to anyone about anything. The hashtags relate directly to us and if typed into the search box at the top you can find all the tweets containing the hashtag. Simples! We use them on pinterest to label our pins, so when they are re-pinned people can see where they originally came from and can find us that way.
We were talking to one of our flockers via twitter on Friday and she asked what her hashtag could be. We suggested she would like to ask her followers for their ideas. The main reason to use social media is to meet your followers – asking for their input into decisions is a great way to build a relationship and it shows your customers you value their opinion.
You cannot be shy, the whole point of social media is to be sociable, it seems many people are scared to get involved, if we're totally honest we have tweeted some networking hours without having a clue what to say. @Awardingwomen do a lot of networking hours and when we got our hashtags confused, they simply tweeted us to correct us and we were right back on track again!
Building relationships is such a good thing to do and easy – be bothered about who you are talking to, ask them what they’re doing! Pass compliments, if someone says something that touches you or makes you think, tell them, treat it the same as you would in a real-life situation! You wouldn’t have a meeting with someone and say the same thing over and over or just talk about yourself constantly or if somebody asked a question you wouldn’t all just ignore them would you? So why do it on social media?
Twitter is the best to use for this because all of your followers can see your tweets and therefore can join in with the conversation. So far we've have found that asking a general question to all followers doesn’t get a huge response so tag people directly. If you received a message from someone directly, as opposed to the whole group, even if you weren’t sure what to say, you would be more likely to respond wouldn’t you?
We have been telling people about Cockpot™ for a few weeks now and have been overwhelmed by the positive response but we want to make sure that we are not getting boring – it’s all very well telling you that we are bringing Cockpots™ to you but where are they? Well, you have joined us at the beginning of our mission, we have designs and ideas, paper work and vision. As you will know from our blog earlier this week, we have been busy birdies and are working hard seeing coaches on the high growth programme and are getting in touch with manufacturers, suppliers etc. and things are coming along nicely. However, it’s all very well us knowing and doing this but if we don’t tell you how can you be involved? The key to social media success is keeping information fresh and relevant. This is imperative to keep people interested, if you are interesting people won’t want to follow or like you, they’ll be bored.
To help us with this, we have been sharing things like e-cards, to entertain our flockers without overdoing the self promotion. We also have a ‘flockers cocktail recipe exchange’ board on Pinterest, we are making cocktail teapots so a cocktail board makes perfect sense and it give our followers the change to tell us what their favourite cocktails are! Also gives us inspiration for our weekends!
Even if you aren’t based in a consumer goods business why not havea board where people can share their favourite pictures? E-cards? Food? Social media allows you to represent all the elements of your brand, make sure you are taking full advantage of this!
We have so much fun chatting to our flockers, every time a tweet gets retweeted or replied to or we get a re-pin or like, our little feathers start fluttering in excitement. Social media offers us the opportunity to get to know our flockers, and we genuinely enjoy sharing our journey with you. You inspire and motivate us! <