Countless business owners have discussed with me the pressure they are under to be part of the social media community; “That’s where THEY are”, “Social is the only way” and “That’s how our customers want to communicate”. If this sounds like your situation and you are struggling to figure out what your social media strategy should be, then you need some Forrest Gump philosophy.“Stupid is as stupid does.”
Social media doesn’t need to be complex, nor do your aims need to have a profound effect on humanity. The first step is conceptualising a target that you understand. I discussed Twitter with a friend when he first started using it and it was fairly obvious he had no clue what klout rankings are or how they work or what his objectives were. A great way to start is to have five conversations / engagements per day with people. Ask them how they are, find out what the weather is like in their part of the world and be polite. People will talk back and start interacting with your brand if you treat them like a person.
When you begin using social media it may seem like you are talking to yourself. That feeling didn’t stop Forrest from talking to every person who came across him that day when he was waiting for the bus. Instead it got people listening to him and interested.
There is always someone listening and if you continue to tell interesting tales and treat people kindly then the number of ears willing to listen start to increase, with a surprisingly mixed audience.
If you are worried about what to talk about the rules below should help set you on your way:
- ReTweet (RT )/ Share/Like information that you have enjoyed from inside your sector such as articles and blogs. Although it’s not your content, if you are the person to bring it to your community’s attention then you are perceived as a thought leader.
- Discuss articles, blogs or comments with the original source or other social media users as this can also help grow your community
- When you publish your offers, deals or latest news remember to address it the same way that you would approach a sale. Hard sell for fast moving /perishable goods, soft sell for upper market products and services.
- Try to refrain from shouting. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment (especially if it is a hard sell tactic) but CAPITALISING and EXCLAIMING EVERYTHING M@KE$ Ur cOmm€nts LoOk LiKe SPAM
Life is like a box of chocolates
When reaching into a box of chocolates, you are guaranteed to pull out some form of confectionery, you just can’t bet what it might be. In terms of the world wide web, every effort you put in will produce an unexpected and often delightful return. Over the past couple of months I have interacted with so many lovely people and it’s all thanks to social media, I even got a date via LinkedIn! You get out what you put in and it is worth every ounce of effort, its just up to you how many times you want to stick your hand in the box.
Who remembers when Forrest began a cross-country sprint and nobody could understand his objective? He woke up one morning, felt like a run and just kept on going. He didn’t let public outcry at the crazy bearded man running through cities stop him, obstacles that appeared along the road, such as a regular pile of dog faeces . When asked by a passer-by how he coped with this setback, he answered with one of the most iconic phrases known to man – s***t happens. Adopt Gump philosophy and just keep on running – when you begin the race you feel alone, but your determination to reach out to an audience, no matter how crazy people think you are at first, will be met with high approval.
The @EnCountry Twitter community
I thought I would take this opportunity to recommend some Tweeps who I have been interacting with and I would love for you to add your name to the list. (Just leave a comment below and we’ll publicise you across the site!). The people below are more than happy to chat and will always make time for a debate or two.
@TomPetersonUK, @KellyDolanUK, @RheaSethi_UK, @BryanVerster, @garyjohnlennon, @alisonbcoleman, @LindaCheungUK, @LindaCheungUK, @CubeSocial, @MattGubba, @GarethPeterson, @GuyRigby, @Robert_Craven, @digiconvs, @implausibleblog, @TamsinFD, @TobiOfficial & of course @EnCountry!
Let me know if you want your twitter added to my list above by commenting below!