Remember when a leaflet drop was an essential part of a marketing plan? Does anyone miss them? Getting thousands printed before discovering an incorrect phone number made it through the proof check? Guiltily counting your eco footprint in dead trees/printer cartridges/truck fumes? Paying distributors then having boxes reported abandoned in a park?
In their defence, once leaflets were in the public domain, they didn’t need re-tweeting and no-one expected their status to be updated. Twitter and Facebook are more eco-friendly but they are demanding. Lucky then that there is some excellent advice out there for navigating social media, such as is offered by Katy Cowan who runs online creative industries magazine Creative Boom. Here are some of her tips in short form:
Do be human. Social media is a two-way conversation where people demand more transparency from products and services. So don’t bombard your followers with countless adverts and plugs about your business. Engage with people, get involved and connect with your customers.
Do put a face to your brand. People don’t want to talk to brands on Twitter, they want to talk with real people. So wherever possible add a picture of yourself or your company’s director to your avatar.
Do offer value. You can’t just shout about your business all the time, you have to add value to your tweets or Facebook updates otherwise people won’t follow you. Offer competitions, discounts or even just share your expertise.
Don’t be negative. Everything you tweet, blog or say on Facebook has the potential to stick around forever. Remember you’re not just building your brand, you’re building it for tomorrow as well.
Don’t be inactive online. Make sure your social media accounts are fresh and constantly updated. Social media suits today’s fast-paced world and your customers will expect you to be tweeting or Facebooking every day.