A lot of people want to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to help advance their business, but they just don’t know how to use them effectively. There’s one thing you need to keep in mind above all others when starting out with social networking, and that’s that you’re talking directly to people. Average, everyday people.
Millions of people use Facebook and Twitter to connect with each other on a daily basis. They’re having conversations about everything from what they had to lunch, to how work is going, to their favorite music. They go to these sites to have a conversation with other users, not to be talked at by anyone. That’s where a lot of companies go wrong with their social marketing campaigns.
A lot of companies post things to social networking sites using the same wording they would in a press release, or other official company document, and that just doesn’t work. That method of communication leaves your customers feeling talked at, instead of talked to. Imagine you have met one of your customers on the street, and you strike up a conversation with them. What sort of things are you going to say? Are you going to start reciting your company’s latest press release? Or are you going to answer their questions, and ask them how they feel about your product? In a lot of ways, using Facebook and Twitter is a lot like meeting a customer on the street. You have to talk with them to get any useful benefit out of the conversation.
Talk to your customers on social networking sites the same way you would in real life. If they’re having a problem, try to address it in a simple and friendly way. If you’re not clear on their problem, or question, ask them some questions of your own. If they haven’t asked you any questions, or shared any concerns, talk to them anyway. Ask them questions, and share interesting information with them.
People on social networks like Facebook and Twitter want to make a connection with other users. If you want to get them excited about your business, you have to connect with them in a meaningful way. Be friendly, and be a little informal. Remember, talk to your online customers the same way you would your real world ones. They’ll be more receptive to your message if you do.