S ocial media is a congregation of communities. They interact with each other as well as internally among individual members.
Smaller communities — which include businesses — that want to build themselves bigger and better rely on experts such as Samantha Kelly .
She is founder and CEO of Women’s Inspire Network and a TEDx speaker. As marketing entrepreneur Madalyn Sklar noted, Kelly’s Twitter handle is “TweetingGoddess,” elevating her second to none on the throne.
A brand’s journey can be influenced by embracing Twitter, which is one — not the only — avenue for engagement. Entrepreneurs need to keep social media options open to engage with customers.
“Taking your customer on a journey is a huge part of using Twitter,” Kelly said. “People on twitter want to learn, be entertained or have fun and get the latest news as it happens.
“Your brand story behind the scenes is a huge part of what your followers will look for,” she said.
Outsource busy work
A small-business owner’s days are busy. They should outsource social media management when they risk taking on too much extra work to the detriment of their product or service.
That also applies when you lack expertise and can’t afford to learn on the job.
“Outsource only when you find it is too time consuming for you,” Kelly said. “Your personality is your unique selling point. Try to do it yourself, but do learn how to do it properly. Get training from experts.
“If you do decide to outsource, make sure those doing the work are aligned with your brand and know what they are doing,” she said.
Responding to a mention on a tweet depends on the nature of the mention. Generally, say thanks for a retweet and for something such as a #FollowFriday. However, you’re not obliged to thank someone who urges others to follow you if that person doesn’t follow you back.
“Say ‘Thank you,’” Kelly said. “A retweet is always nice to do. It makes you look good, and the person who wrote the tweet will be thrilled.
“Definitely keep the conversation going and look at their tweets,” she said. “Is there some way you could bring value to them . That could be as simple as retweeting one of their tweets.”
Brands are human, too
Famous brands know how to bring “humanity” to their engagement strategy.
“They listen to what their customers are talking about,” Kelly said. “To follow their lead, monitor mentions with a tool like Brand24 or engage with their followers for a change. Make a list of brand advocates who deserve a shout out or retweet.
“Don’t get just anyone to manage your account,” Kelly said. “Get a professional who understands social media. I see too many ‘put the junior’ on it, and mistakes are made. Get training or learn if you don’t ‘get social media.’ Be human. Big brands can have a personality on Twitter, too.”
Know your audience and their needs and pain points. Without that information, you’re spraying around social media to no good effect.
Kelly gave her Top 5 suggestions for new brands that wish to effectively use Twitter for business:
- Be kind. Assist others. It’s not all about you.
- Share your knowledge. Add value.
- Learn how to use each platform properly for maximum benefit.
- Be nice. Keep away from controversy.
- Make sure your audience is on Twitter.
Eighty-seven percent of Twitter users said they would buy from a small business they had engaged with on Twitter. This makes it important for a business to deal with negativity on social media.
Address such complaints as soon as possible. Say what you’re doing to fix the problem. The longer a complaint lingers unanswered is a tacit admission of guilt or — worse — not caring.
“If it is a genuine complaint, then respond,” Kelly said. “Engage and ask for more information. Take it offline with direct messages so you can get their details. Follow up to make sure the complaint is dealt with.
“If it’s a troll, just block,” she said. “You don’t need negativity in your life. You work hard enough as it is. You need to surround yourself with good people.”
Cues from leaders
If you have been on Twitter for years but still not shining, look at what more successful businesses do and try similar techniques.
There is no social media magic bullet. Success can be a matter of timing and location. Be persistent, and keep the good of your customers in mind.
“Perhaps your audience is not on Twitter,” Kelly said. “Perhaps you are not adding value. Is your biography interesting? You can be more human on Twitter. Let us see a bit more about you because people buy from people.
“Ask an expert to do a consultation, and learn what could be changed or tweaked,” she said. “It could be something simple that needs to change. Perhaps you aren’t following the right people. I knew an account’s target audience was small-business owners. Yet, they weren’t following any.”
Kelly and Sklar continued their conversation in depth on Facebook Live .