Friday, 21 December 2012

Why Companies Should Handle Social Media Like Dating and Relationships

Five Social Media Tips You Can Learn From Dating

I know the title of this post arouses curiosity but am about to prove why you should handle and approach your community on social media like you do with a girl/boy in the dating scene. I happen to have spent the weekend home alone, phone off, no Twitter, no TV, no laptop- nothing; basically cut out off the world! Well I was having that “ME” time to reflect upon many things when my thoughts drifted to my social life…dating and such kind of things! The more I thought about it, the more my mind wandered to social media and how companies often try to build relationships. So I engaged my thoughts to come up with this post! So in this post I will explore similarities and lessons social media managers can pick up from the dating scene to guide them in managing brands on social media. This will be pretty simple so here’s how to go about it!

     1.      KNOW WHERE TO SEARCH.
This is actually the first thing you do when seeking the right person- so where do you search? Some go to church, others find bars to be good hunting grounds, and others go to events such as weddings, networking sessions, seminars, dating sites and such. For companies you need to know where your customers hang out, which platforms are they active on? Are you targeting the 18-24 market? Where are they? Are you looking for the 25-35 age group or the older ones? So at this stage you need to identify the social networking sites where to focus your social media marketing efforts. Remember social media isn’t all about Facebook and Twitter so take time to explore where you put your resources for the maximum ROI! After you do this, then as usual you need a strategy, with objectives and a plan. Then craft the message- what’s the tone? How will you put it across in an engaging way? At this you may also profile (do some research) your TA, identify their touch points and things they love or enjoy doing and at what times or seasons/days/ times of the day as you prepare for step 2 below!

     2.      TAKE THE MOVE!
After you have the place to do your search, you now take the bold move to approach the girl, so I assume you have already set up the social media channels, well branded and with profiles nicely filled up with information. As you do with dating, you dress properly (branding), take the girl to a nice restaurant, go to church with her and such! So here’s a few tips to help you with that crucial first date!
·         Be bold – Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas with her. On social media don’t be neutral! Be a rebel or the hero. Neutral content/discussion doesn’t arouse engagement! Be very keen as you don’t want the girl to curse meeting you same thing, if your content isn’t great on social media, people will leave!
·         Post less –Sharing everything on your mind or what you come across will push her away so is the community you have on social media! You don’t keep calling her and texting all day so the same works with social media! If you're pushing serious content tweeting and posting in the morning may get you RT's. Sharing content when your community is not online will not earn you engagement.  Use Tweriod  to see when you tweet and when your friends/followers tweet. Then tweet during those times to increase engagement. You also need a content plan and a maintenance schedule for all your social media channels with a policy/guidelines as you don’t want admins to post anything!
·         Use the 1/9 tweet rule –Those who only share their own content are transparent and audiences online look at that as purely selfish and switch off quickly. Get in the habit of sharing 9 tweets not about you or your business for every post about you or your business. This way you don’t spam people; the same thing applies to dating- you don’t talk endlessly about yourself! Do less of push marketing, no “Me, me, me’ kind of content. A good ratio of sharing to promoting your own content on Facebook is 4:1 as a minimum (the more you share about other valuable content i.e. less marketing messages, the more you get in return). Be sure you only share content that adds value to your community – content which they’ll find useful. If it’s a mixed up case scenario share content that benefits people across the board.

     3.      So what next after the first date?
After you’ve went out for dinner with her, you don’t ask to take her to your house! Maybe you play the gentleman, drop her home, pick up a cab for her or at least escort her to her bus stop. Right? You then call to find out whether she got home well as you wish her good night and thank her for having dinner with her! Sindio wananume? Now back to social media, once you get people to like or follow you, you welcome them, thank them then immerse them with content about your business and what you offer. You aren’t asking for a sale, you want to first build the relationship, give value, good content, keep your promises- when people ask for information, you give it on time, when you promise to call them, do it! After the first date, maybe you schedule the next one, you want to see her often right? So with social media, you may ask your followers to also LIKE your Facebook page and vice versa, check or subscribe to your channel. You may also redirect them to your website or ask them to check your products in a branch/outlet/retail outlet near them. Remember you now want to ‘see’ and engage them more often and get your community interact with your business, experience your products and services more often. Remember you don’t push this on them!

     4.      Your Reputation- what do other people say about you?
At this level if you had done your search in the right place, done step two and three well, a girl will ask her or your friends about you. Check your Facebook profile, ask your colleagues and people who know you more about you! She simply wants to get an opinion from people who know you before she makes a decision whether there’s a future in what you have initiated. With social media, a customer will search more about your business online, ask around for recommendations, also ask friends about your product or service or maybe read product reviews online. So this is where you monitor your brand mentions, address inquiries, read reviews and up your reputation management! You don’t want your prospect to read a nasty blog about your poor customer service, negative customer experience and such kind of things. So how well do you track conversations on social media space? Does your business deliver on its promise? Do you keep your word? Is your product awesome as you say it is? Remember it’s no longer about who you say you are but what others say you are so you need a strong social media team to handle your public relations online. This is very important in the purchase decision process! Any issues here that raise a red flag will turn people away!

      5.      Take her to bed- Call for action!
Most probably after step four a girl will have made up her mind but you still have a chance to clean up your name! You know it guys, how we say we’ve changed, we’ve quit alcohol and we’re no longer players! With business, most likely your prospective buyer will have 2 or 3 options now; with recommendations to try out product B from company C. However you still have a chance to explain the benefits, value proposition and the uniqueness of your product/service.  Address the fears the prospect has and do it authentically and in a genuine manner. Don’t be a one night stander as you ask for a SALE, seek to build & nurture a relationship! Ask her….ask for it….take her to bed! After this you need to convert your customers to brand ambassadors, make the experience memorable, and make it a great moment. Delight your customer! Keep the promise! On social media you need to ask your community what you want them to do, do you need them to signup for your newsletter? Share video? Tell them, do you want them to add their friends to the page? Ask them so! However don’t be pushy, give them a reason to do so, one which is remarkable content that they can share, secondly could be incentives, could be your great customer service efforts! Ensure you give value to spark initiative and encourage action!


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