I have watched with interest how organisations that operate in the Social Media sector .. and I have some observations about how to define your strategy
Lets start with the function of Social Media ….
Social Media is not a direct influence or sales path …. it is a tool
to build a contact .. to build a relationship and ultimately to add to
an experience of your brand from which you can then leverage, while you
continue to add value to the overall experience.
Social Media is the Internets replacement in this insular world for
your sphere of influence … you community, your friends, and those
organisations that you are interested in engaging with.
Social Media has been hyped up to the point where people are living
their life in this cyber space instead of the real world … please take
note … Social Media is not your life, and the most important people in
your life, are not on Twitter ! Well they shouldn’t be … professionally
speaking I believe many mature bricks and mortar organisations would be
more successful especially on Facebook if they de-activated their
account – their strategy is all one sided, and is all about providing
the information that they believe is important – which is not how you
build a relationship .. One thing, numbers of Facebook does not means
that they are actually listening to you … but on Twitter … I believe
they are more engaged and therefore interested and note, the un-follow
button on Twitter is a heart beat away.
In the early days, very early days on Twitter, on another account I
did an experiment with that exact scenario .. and then changed the
nature of the feed .. the response was immediate … that feed lost a
large number of followers .. and note people remember … that … if you
don’t value them .. well enough said
Now lets look at how to build influence
It is built by engagement and valuing the people you connect with,
but you MUST speak with your own voice and from your own values …. if
you do not offer up something of yourself then what makes you different
than the thousands of voices of the Internet .. that say .. buy this ..
do this .. see here … your strategy must be to enhance the experience of
your followers … their world is made somehow brighter by following you
on Twitter or any other Social Media channel, in other words you provide
something they want in their life.
I have seen worthy organisations who are so focused on getting their
message across, without seeing the other side of the picture …. you need
to involve people in your world on a more personal basis or should I
say your persona …. which on the Internet is not the same thing .. well
it shouldn’t be. Also if you are speaking as the voice of a
organisation, you need to follow strict protocols of how you engage …
what you say .. and how you say it … bring your personal views of what
they did, or how they have treated you is counter-productive and will
lose you followers.
There are specific processes and strategies to interest, to engage,
involve the customer / follower, to retain them and use that connection
as a leverage to a wider audience … but so many are missing the mark
here …. to start look at your own interests and those sites you follow
and ask yourself, why am I interested in this information, and how do
they retain my interest and how do they interest me enough, that I want
to re-tweeted my message to my followers … this is a critical point … to
a large extent I choose the people I follow and likewise unless I
believe they overall experience of my feed will be enhanced and will add
something to my message … I will not engage … so I this is how I value
them by not devaluing our relationship - and therefore I will only
re-tweet a message and content that I can relate to … and I believe my
“friends” for want of a better world will find of value …. basically
because I do.
At the end of the day … you need to remember on thing .. this is
Social Media … it is not a one way passive “relationship” as in Mass
Media, it is or at least it should be a engaged interactive
relationship, that value and engage with your people … to build a joint
experience, and note joint means together …. do not make the mistake of
seeing your followers as a means to an end .. as the equivalent of email
fodder … value them, respect them and you will succeed … don’t .. well
we know what happens if you don’t.
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