7 Social Media Musts
A friend asked me today if there was any information out there that illustrates how to best use social media. I thought about it for a minute and realized…no…there isn’t.
There is, however, a veritable plethora of examples of how people have used social media effectively. And they’re as close as your nearest search engine.
To research them all would take a great deal of time and effort. Fortunately, I’ve spent a lot of time keeping up with what works and doesn’t in the new media realm. And behind every successful social media strategy I’ve found the following underlying principles firmly in place.
1. Give the customer a voice.
A customer talking about you is an opportunity to learn something. Giving customers a voice and a place to speak freely creates a constant stream of insight you can use to continually improve and evolve your business.
2. Foster connections among individuals within your core audience.
People who come together in the name of whatever value a brand offers galvanize the fiber of your brand and make it stronger. One customer supporting your brand is powerful. But several individuals supporting your brand together is almost immovable.
3. Make a promise and keep it no matter what.
At the end of the day, people want to be able to rely on others. That includes brands. Fostering trust by following through on a specific commitment to your customer, again and again and again is critical to the survival of your brand.
4. Constantly surprise your audience.
Emotions make people remember things. Positive emotions sear experiences into long term memory. The element of surprise as a business practice creates a customer that is constantly wondering “what’s next?” And that’s a good thing.
5. Do things no one else is doing. Especially if it scares the shit out of you.
Unique experiences also have long-lasting effects. By introducing people to things they’ve never seen before, again, you harness the power of novelty and separate yourself from all the noise and sameness in the world today. And, if you’re afraid to venture out beyond the norm, take heart. You’re already halfway there.
6. Deliver value daily. Not a sales pitch.
We now live in a world where technology allows us to evolve our brands on a day-in-day-out basis. Which means there is no real reason not to leverage what’s available to create value for your customers. Whether it’s relevant content, a game platform or a downloadable something or other, the tools are abundantly and readily available. Search them out. Use them. And use them wisely. Save the sales pitch for the trade show floor.
7. Think of your audience as a single person, not a group of people. Then do it all for her.
The more succinct your mental image of your customer, the easier it will be to envision ways to provide her with life-enhancing experiences. Think of the one, not the many. Give her a name. Give her a home. Give her a full life and she will inspire you in more ways than you can imagine.
Social media is, as many have said before me, more social than media. And if you approach it that way, you’ll find it quite easy to use and quite useful as well.