(1) Act like a friendMost social media, like Facebook and Twitter, were originally conceived as ways for friends to communicate. They have evolved now, but we should keep in mind why they were created and why people go on them. No one goes on there to find out about your latest widget or special offer, so don’t ram it down their throat. That doesn’t mean that people are not interested in your latest widget or special offer, it is just a matter of thinking about how you get it across. Imagine you go out for dinner with a friend and they tell you about a great deal they have just got on some flights. You are interested. You want to know. You might even take up the same deal, but that is not the first thing that your friend told you about, and is only a small part of the conversation. This is exactly what a social media conversation needs to reflect.
(2) Do one thing wellThere are a lot of different sites out there; Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and hundreds more. You can’t do all of them and you shouldn’t try. You should do one of them really well. That doesn’t mean that you don’t do any of the others, you just need to pick one to do well. We have chosen Facebook. That is why facebook.com/poochandmutt has over 32k followers – the biggest following of any independent dog food company in the UK. Read more about social media:
- British workers don’t want to befriend colleagues on Facebook
- Customer service: Using social media is now essential
(3) A picture is worth 140 character, or moreTwitter limits you to 140 characters and Facebook fills your feed so much that it is hard to get noticed with a simple text post. Pictures are great, they are normally easy for people to understand in a short space of time and easy for people to share. We are lucky that we work in an industry like the pet industry where we have a lots of scope to create great looking images. It’s easy to make an appealing image with a dog or cat… imagine if you had to do the social media for a steel manufacturer. BUT, a word of warning. There a lot of pet images out there in internetland, you need to make your images relevant to you and your audience, not just another image of a cute puppy… Although they do have a time and a place!
(4) Do it yourself…… or get someone in your organisation, who loves and cares for your brand/company/products as much as you do. Don’t get an agency (or a friend who is “good with computers”) to do it. You need to be authentic and you need to be quick. Firstly quick; if someone asks a question you need to be able to reply quickly, if someone else is doing it for you they will need to ask you what to reply, then reply. This takes too long, and by the time it’s done your potential customer may have lost interest. Secondly, authenticity. “Authenticity” is bit of an over-used word in marketing circles, but in social media people want to engage with real people and real personalities, and no one who is not extremely close to your company will be able to do this for you. Guy Blaskey is founder of Pooch & Mutt.
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