When is the last time you had a review of all your social media channels for consistency?
I probably download 3-5 new apps every week.
i'd probably cull from my phone at least once a month.
I am constantly looking for apps that add value to my work/life and since I'm already doing it I thought I should start to tell people about the ones I love.
It went kind of viral in my feed a couple of weeks ago and I managed to avoid getting in any online arguements with people sharing the video and any kind of "he is totally right" types of comments from baby-boomers and Gen-X or Gen-Y peeps (yes I fall into one of these categories).
Start by thinking and making notes on: Who should want to read about this announcement? Is it a generic News story or more niche media related i.e. would it suit TV news, major radio stations or Newspapers... or is it more targeted to say a youth, local, specific industry, orientation, hobby, etc. Why is the Press Release really interesting?
One thing that has become as common as a mobile phone number has got to be an email address. It is a rarity to hear someone say they don't have email, just the same as if they said "I don't own a mobile phone" and it is why you need to be compiling a list.
Often a potential customer will provide an email address willingly before they sign-up to pay for your product or service so they can start to get a feel for what your business is all about and they may have had you recommended by a friend who has used your business, maybe they heard you have previously offered discounts or special offers and they are waiting for you to repeat this offer.
So you owe it to current customers and potential alike to keep a contact database and consistently reach out to them with updates. It can be as simple as a monthly email newsletter and it really doesn't need to be long. You can even build a yearly calendar and do some of the leg-work early or even repeat it. e.g.
January - Welcome to X Year from all of us at (company)
February - Could your business target Valentines Day or special offer?
March - Easter Holiday offers
and so on...
Think about Holidays in each month that suit your business offering and/or client needs. What about your yearly specials like a stocktake clearance or spring cleaning, closing for holidays or other important dates. Set email dates for these and if necessary, alarms in your calendar to finalise messaging.
Then think about opportunities to collect email addresses like on your website and social media - Facebook can add a mailchimp signup tab for instance.
We recommend using mailchimp. It is a brilliant free service is you have a small list, but they also have some incredible paid functions like automated emailing, so you can spend a little time at first planning these out and then set-and-forget like: email offer to new subscribers say after 60 days with a special offer code and thank you message for being a subscriber. Or you could set up an automation for anyone that clicks on specific links indicating an interest in certain areas of the business, it could be a series of information based communications. What you ideally want is a range of content that you can repeat across platforms.
Remember that this email list is a list of people that have indicated an interest in your business. They are your customers so think of ways you can reward and excite them with offers from your business. It's a win win situation.
To be perfectly honest, I'm a little bit excited about the changes. For those of you that have been living under a digital rock, Instagram has announced that it will be changing the feed from 100% chronological to something more suggestive like "stuff you missed but probably want to see" and will probably look a lot like Twitter in terms of showing the latest few tweets, then "while you were away" - a collection of the most likely tweets that you'd enjoy - then more chronological.
Why are they doing this?
Well, Instagram has started to mature and the way people are using the platform has changed dramatically in the past few years, we most probably follow a couple of hundred more people than we used to and interact with profiles in a vastly different manner. So it makes sense to make sure the best posts all get seen.
Also, the fact that Instagram is a modern advertising platform - think Newspapers (remember those print things that we used to read) - so it makes money from advertising. Thus, it needs to make sure that there is good reason for people to invest in advertising on their platform. I saw one page (a small business) having a whinge across platforms on Twitter about the changes saying something like "Don't they realise their customers don't want this?" and it stuck with me, really it is the catalyst for this post since my response was basically "you aren't their customer! You are just a consumer, unless you are advertising". I feel a sense of irony in a small business complaining about another business changing to suit their customers (advertisers) when they'd been catching a free ride for years selling their own wares.
Why shouldn't you tell people to click 'Turn on Notifications'?
This feature has been around for ages, potentially since the beginning. I know I noticed it about twelve months ago and clicked on it for a page and the first time that page posted an image and I got a notification, well, I clicked again to turn it off. To be honest, every time I looked at that profile afterwards I was slightly annoyed and the first bad post, I clicked unfollow. Sure, I might be a little more vicious when it comes to my flood line for this kind of thing, but I am more than confident that for all the people that turned on notifications for business profiles, a huge percentage of those are going to turn them back off and/or simply unfollow to get rid of the notifications. Of those that stay, as soon as that business starts posting rubbish "sell" type posts they are gone too. Worse, many of them will simply stop using the app all together and that is bad for everyone.
- Changes to the feed are good
- Great content will rise to the top
- Don't tell people to 'Turn on Notifications
- Stop thinking Social Media platforms are here for users - they are advertising platforms!
I find it incredible how many people I see on sites like Airtasker looking for people to get the "1,000 real followers on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram" and wonder what they are really trying to achieve? Do people honestly think that equates to 1,000 new customers or are we so superficial that it is all just simply to feel good about the total. Either way, I think people are loosing sight of why they are even using social media for business - the want for lots of followers on a personal account is a whole other blog piece... for another day.
You need to focus on engaging, delighting and informing your followers. No matter how many there are, they are the people most likely to spread that positive word-of-mouth every business should be looking for. 10K Instagram followers double tapping every image you put up means nothing if none of them care about your product or service enough to take action e.g. purchase.
Instead of focusing on followers, focus on your customers. Please them with your offering and reach out and connect with those happy customers. Make friends on Facebook or LinkedIn, follow them on Instagram and Twitter, start a conversation on an open forum like "Thanks for visiting our store this week" or "Hope you are enjoying product X, feel free to give us a call or email if you have any questions". Not only is this the right thing to do, other potential customer see how open and transparent that you operate and that's who people want to shop with. If a customer writes something negative, in some ways this is even better, because here is an opportunity to turn it around or at the very least show future customers how hard you try to satisfy trouble customers. People can see when consumers are being difficult, they'll admire you trying just as much.
Don't buy followers!
If you really feel like you need a push, why not try an offering to current customers or people that have enquired, that you will offer a large discount (or even free) if they invite their friends to like your pages and maybe do a few shoutouts on social channels.
Watch what the competition is doing to catch tips and tricks, but try not to focus on how quickly they are growing because you don't know if they are investing in buying followers and you can't see their books to know how well business is really doing. Focus on you.