Marketing your business online is a lot of work. Some days, it feels like a lot of guess work. Marketing companies have made bread and butter from telling companies that they need to have a brand story to tell on social media profiles in order to grow followers and get attention.
Brand stories, the story goes, are your secret to success. I don’t think that’s true for every company out there. There’s a time and place for a story, but many companies aren’t making the most of their Twitter presence because they’re too busy trying to tell a brand story, rather than understanding what their customers want or need.
Twitter as a platform is important and valuable, but it’s come time to recognize what a twitter account primarily is, has changed substantially. It’s a place where you position your brand, voice, and content to get good benefit. It isn’t where you will automatically go viral or become an overnight success. Having a Twitter account is now like having a phone number.
Think about the questions below while planning your company’s social media strategy, to have an understanding of your company’s value, and your customers’ interest in you.
1. Know Yourself
Think about why people come to your store, restaurant or website.
If your nursery is a great place to find bedding plants, that is great! If you support some charities and local sports teams, talk about those three things. You don’t need to tell a grand tale of gardening every day – instead, share a tip or trick, and remind people when it’s a good time for new bedding plants and supplies.
In the meantime, someone looking for an amazing experience with your company wants to find themselves awestruck. They want photography and rich descriptions of what awaits them - yes, this could mean a story.
What this looks like on Twitter is a balance of tone and information. A customer support-focused twitter account is going to share information about service disruptions and discounts more often that it will talk about the identity of the company and its history, because that is what serves the needs of its followers.
Tip 1 Takeaway: It’s important to know your brand, and not build expectations too high for your content when you’re just getting started.
2. Be Yourself
Most companies are trying to earn new customers, and provide customer service to existing ones. This is the most basic social media engagement plan out there, and you see it followed by companies big and small. Accounts like @Xbox tell you what games are out now, what will be out soon, and any service problems to be aware of.
Some companies want to establish intelligence and authority in their field by sharing or commenting on stories about current events in that field. This is something ATAK does – we want to show that we’re a full service marketing company, so we share stories about all types of marketing services that we provide.
Still other companies pull off the storytelling goal, in big ways and small. The infamous Denny’s and Taco Bell twitter accounts tell an incredible brand story by having a constant irreverent voice and self-awareness about being, well, Denny’s and Taco Bell. These companies have the time, budget, and market share to build their audience and brand loyalty through constant engagement.
Tip 2 Takeaway: Have a marketing goal in mind for your social media account, and make sure it aligns with your company’s current resources and offering.
3. Follow the Relationships
Social media is a relationship builder. It’s up to you to decide what kind of relationship is the right one for your brand to have with its customers. Don’t fall for a formula for good engagement, and don’t try to make your social media into something that your company isn’t.
Go to where your customers expect you to be, and craft your twitter strategy to suit those customers. If you can connect with people already engaged with your company and provide them with what they want, you’ll be well on your way to building the right kind of following and community.
There’s nothing you have to do on social media, and there’s nothing that’s guaranteed to work on social media. It’s all about finding the right voice and tone, and sticking to it regularly. Make sure you decide on a plan that’s going to be doable for your company, on a daily basis, and you’ll be well on the road to success.
Tip 3 Takeaway: If you spend all of your time exasperated and struggling with your social media strategy, you’re going to stop doing it, and possibly alienate your followers – and that is one of the worst social media outcomes possible.
The trick to a relevant Twitter account is setting up your presence in a way that works for you and your company – so that it’s always being monitored, responded to, and updated. Don’t let the pressure of telling a great brand story get in the way of starting to use Twitter and other social media platforms. All it takes is a little planning and customer know-how.
Need a little bit of social media management help, or a custom ecommerce or wordpress website? ATAK Interactive is only a click away.