Yes. You should have a social media brand position. And yes. You should establish yourself as the thought leader in your industry. And yes. You should utilize your online presence to drive traffic to your site to sell your products and services. But you’re not going to achieve ANY of these goals if the only thing you’re posting is:
“Have you seen our blah blah doohickey? http://is.gd/UBJZWa”
“It’s lunch time and we’re selling an extra large doohickey with a side of blah blah blah for $6.99 http://is.gd/UBJZWa”
or my personal least favorite
“30 doohickey’s that are sure to blah your blah http://is.gd/UBJZWa”
I mean... good gravy! I just bored myself just writing these things. Seriously! Who’s gonna click on any of those links? You may have a particularly amazing doohickey that I would love and would undoubtably tell the world about if only I had the chance to try it, but your social media time is completely and utterly wasted if these forgettable marketing posts are all that you’ve been posting. Saying something unrelated to your company’s product or service is a good thing! The person operating your social media should be putting themselves in to everything they post for your company.
You need to interact with people on a personal level. Don’t wait for them to ask you a question about your product. Ask them about a movie they just tweeted about. Suggest a fantastic off-the-beaten-path restaurant in the city they just Gowalla’d in to. If you’re knowledgable about something they’re talking about.. chime in! These are the personal connections that marketers should be striving for. Modern consumers, i.e. your friends and followers, want to feel like they’re connected to brands, not like they’re being marketed to.
Here are a few examples of social media done right in the local area:
Elena of @WedgePizza. Elena not only manages the Wedge Pizza on Western, but she handles all her business social media. Not only have I had a conversation with her about Batman style utility belts this week. But because we had such a long conversation about how wonderful the figs are on the Wedge’s Bruschetta pizza, that she brought the company a stack of pizza’s this past Wednesday AND she brought me a custom made delicacy. Fig and Feta Bruschetta. I literally have never tasted anything so tasty. And all of this came from a silly conversation about Batman. Elena does a particularly wonderful job of taking her social media interactions to a personal level. Typically if you check in to the Wedge she’ll come up and personally say hello. Seriously. I’m impressed!
Gary of @BlackOptical. Gary has had a shop in Tulsa, Black Optical, selling eye wear for years. A while before he opened his new shop on Classen Curve, I started talking to him about music on Twitter. Turns out Gary used to DJ and has just as immaculate taste and knowledge of music as he does of eye wear. Because of this, I was extremely excited to hear he was opening up a shop in OKC. So, I gladly spread the word and told everyone I know that there was a killer new spec joint in OKC that they need to visit, on and off the social networks.
Samantha of @Cork_and_Bottle. Cork and Bottle is a liquor store in Edmond that is quite a bit out of my way. But I make the longer trip to pick up beer from them. Simply because I’ve had so many fun conversations with Sam about anything from home brew to movies to kissing angels (my topic, not hers). And not only does her social media personal interaction go a long way, but what they really do well is tie in their product to popular culture. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the first half, anyway) came out they posted recipes for mixed Hogwarts drinks. ‘The Dark Mark’ ‘Polyjuice Potion’ and ‘Veritiserum’ were just a few that they posted in the weeks leading up to the movies release. Does that appeal to my inner-nerd? Yes. But what a great tie in! If you can figure out a way to connect your products with things people are talking about, do so. You’ll be sure to get more attention.
What’s happened here? Just now? The personal online interaction I’ve had with these three companies has led me to not only buy their products, but I’m now going to share on Twitter and Facebook the blog post I’ve written about them. So, yes. Ultimately your friends and followers can become not only valuable customers, but avid spokespeople for your brand. Yes. You build that brand loyalty with meaningful personal interaction. Not with a trite statement with a link to a website.