Ask and you shall receive! I’m easy that way. After I posted 6 Ways Social Media Can Help A Local Business a while back, I got a lot of requests for more tips. So by request, I bring you more tips on how a small or local business can use social media. I shall share these tips with you in list form. As people like lists and they are fun.
-Change your brand/companies message to fit the social network you are on. So you may post “@pizza is here to help with all your pizza needs” on Twitter. Well that will not fly on say Plurk or youtube. (Always have to work Plurk into a blog post, it is just fun to say.) Make sure you know the basic ins/outs of the site you are on. Think of it as when you travel to a different country. There are different customs in each you should follow. Things you do and things you do not. (This actually is good practice for any size business or brand.)
-Cool it with the cross posting. For those of you do not know let me give you the definition of cross posting. It is when you take the same single message and post it on multiple social networks and forums. Sure it makes your life easier one post that hits many websites. I get it. The problem is that the same people may follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, etc. You need to mix it up. I promise you that if you post the same message to all your networks, you will lose people from your community. Also, I think posting a link on Facebook directly looks a lot better then just placing the url.
-Time Shift your messages. So when you want to post about a special going on or a blog post you just wrote, do it on different days at different times. Some people may be online at 10:00 am others may be on at 4:00 pm. Thus, they maybe more likely to respond and see your message at different times. Play around with it and mix it up. Personally, I have had a lot of success updating my networks late at night. It allows me to get the attention of people I may never have.
-Do not post the same exact message over and over. Just last week Twitter has begun enforcing the TOS of not allowing recurring Tweets on Twitter Accounts. Why? Its annoying, plain and simple. Though I do not see why you can not mix up the message and tweak it throughout the day. I have used Tweetlater aka Socialoomph with much success.(No doubt I’m going to get some nasty comments about my thoughts on this one.)
-What is in it for the customer? Part 1 Have online discounts and promotions. I always get clients who say ” I want millions of Twitter followers” or ” I want everyone to join my fanpage.” My response is ” What is in it for them?” Why should they follow you and fan you? You need to give them something back. It can be a coupon code, a special time sensitive discount, or even early bird passes. There needs to be something in it for them.
-What is in it for the customer? Part 2. In reference to the above item, you don’t have to just give specials and discounts. It could be insight to why your company does what it does. Maybe behind the scenes videos, podcasts or blog posts. You can communicate directly to people who follow/fan you, so do it!! Make them know your listening by talking to them. This has value sometimes that is worth more the items in Part 1.
-There is more to social media then Twitter & Facebook. There I said it. Heck this should be a blog post by itself. (Actually I think this will be my next post.) If you targeting people who like wine, find a social network about wine. You want to sell comic books, there is a site for that. Heck.. just check out Ning you can find anything.
BONUS: So let us say your company is Ed’s Vacuum Cleaner Repair. Why not start a Fan Page, Twitter Feed, or Ning site about Vacuum cleaners? Create an online community for people you know will have a need/like for your product! Bottom line: If you cant find it online, create it yourself!