Who is in Your Social Media Conversation These Days?

Three things to consider before your business begins a time-consuming social media campaign.

There are a lot of conversations going on these days. A conversation identifies a campaign or business strategy, highlights fulfillment of the strategy and reviews it through social media. So you may say, “Who cares? I don’t even have a Twitter account or Facebook page for my business. Mine is purely social.”

Today, it’s important to succeed socially as a business. If you aren’t participating in social media conversations with clients, you had better get started. Business is being done more often as a mobile application, and everyone uses their phones to get things done.

Three Primary Things You Need to Consider about Your Social Media Plan Are:

1. Joining the social media revolution is one of the top five ways to avoid losing customers this year.

2. Key data mining techniques and best practices gain actionable insight into your customers.

3. The right technology platforms can integrate your social media strategy with your overall business goals.

To be effective, you must be interesting, if not fun. Got a deadline? Tweet it. Developing a new product to sell? Send it out on Instagram. Virgin Airlines asks you to tweet your complaints or requests while you are still on the flight to be of better service and to record and track those issues. On Facebook and Twitter, ask questions about what followers think of your site, product and location. People don’t want to fill out questionnaires. They would rather send a direct message, if provided the opportunity.

Today, it’s important to succeed socially as a business. If you aren’t participating in social media conversations with clients, you had better get started.

This is similar to when politicians send out a trial balloon message advising of something thay may or may not do. It gives them time to see how the public will react before they proceed.

Have someone on your end manage these requests and respond with timely answers. Because of social media, the business cycle is 24/7. A long delay means poor customer service. An automated response shows you welcome input and that it was received, but it’s a temporary place holder, giving you a little time.

Your responses should be helpful, informational and short. These exchanges should be shared in most of your social media efforts. If the response is worth the effort, it’s worth sharing. Some might be encouraged to give more input and participate. During a live presentation, ask your audience to tweet their questions or input as you speak. They won’t forget the question, and, if you run out of time, you still get their input that might otherwise have been lost. You may even get a question or thought that’s helpful to the entire audience.

Talented people and groups who live and breathe this stuff are ready, willing and able to help you. Don’t just put something up there and then let it sit. Don’t just feed information. Ask questions. Use witty campaigns and devices that get people to share your site, follow you or keep coming back for more. Be clever in your voice, not so professional that it bores them. Avoid spam-like messages. Make it stand out. Give the receiver a reason to anticipate what you are going to do or say next.

Today’s consumer wants instant gratification, sophisticated products and accessible tools that are easy to use. Young adults use Facebook to keep up with their friends. Unless you give them a reason to come to your site, they won’t. They need a message or an experience. Are you asking for Twitter details so you can send product photos on Instagram and Twitter to keep in touch?

What all of us need to know is how to absorb this information and understand how best to apply it. Give it some time and make sure you are actively engaging in this social stream of communication.

Ask yourself, what kind of conversations are you having these days? Participate in social media conversations, and remember, don’t be all talk.