Starting at Clock Limited a few weeks ago, I began my voyage into the murky realms of Social Media from a professional perspective.
Naturally, my first handful of tweets were shaky and this was demonstrated through my initial (and unfounded) ‘nice to meet you’ tweet to what turned out to be an ex-employee.
Lesson 1: don’t speak on behalf of your company, you’re only their voice.
So seeking assistance, I enlisted help from Clock’s friends over at Gloople (@Gloople) who have been doing fantastically from their online presence and social media use.
Their MD and co-founder, Warren Knight (@wvknight), let me sit in on a client demonstration so I could grasp the ‘end game’ of what their online marketing efforts would eventually lead towards. He then took me in to the conference room and unleashed a whirlwind of handouts, links, tips and secrets for becoming a great social-media marketeer.
Firstly, it became quite clear how important grasping the concept of social media is – which not everyone does. Utilised in the proper fashion, the online space can provide an opportunity to generate excitement, interest and ultimately; engagement. It’s that ‘online buzz’ that we’re striving for and the secrets lie somewhere between good monitoring, relevance, quality of content and knowledge of the industry in question.
So far all pretty obvious right? That’s what I thought - but the complicated part comes in bridging that gap between a Facebook ‘like’ or a retweet and recruiting a shiny, talented new web developer or attracting that all-important interest from a prospective client. In this respect, using social media in a professional capacity is comparable to incepting an idea; it’s putting yourself (your company) on show for the world; showing what excites you, what you’re up to and what interests you and ‘hoping’/dropping the right SEO keywords, to be found at the right times by the right people. Currently, there is an abundance of information about ‘how’ to twitter effectively and it seems that every average Joe and his dog has become an expert from just a year or so of experience. But the reality is that it’s such a fresh and rapidly evolving channel that there really are no professionals and physically can’t be for some years to come.
Nevertheless, there are those 'better' and those 'worse'; and my lesson was coming from a man with ten-thousand-something followers blowing my four-hundred-something out the water quite significantly. Crucially it became apparent that effective web monitoring is half the battle, the other half being publishing new tweets/posts/blogs that are vital to the maintenance of a healthy online profile. And this is what stumps a vast amount of users – what to say. Because posting doesn’t have to be what you had for breakfast, it can (and should) be used for initiating an age-old art; conversation.
For example, here at Clock we are establishing ourselves as a go-to agency for the new technology, Node.js, after our successful work for The Sun with Sunperks.com. So after promoting the link on the day of launch, the activity on our feed naturally died down. What’s important here is continuing the ‘buzz’ – so good monitoring of tweets mentioning ‘#node’ involved opening the floor for a polite introduction such as:
‘Hey – great to see you’re using #node too! We’ve just built Sunperks.com with it and are really pleased with the results. How are you finding it?’
Yes this response infringes on overly-friendly and treads on the tip toes of self-promo territory. But critically it achieves two things; it gets us out and about whilst initiating a relevant conversation in front of the world, an ‘in-it-to-win-it’ approach. Thus, if this technique is applied to monitoring and then escalating a handful of concepts we specialise in to a conversation, suddenly the workload increases tremendously.(Although naturally it’s important to bear in mind the balance between being courageously ‘in-it-to-win-it’ and annoying).
Overall, the introduction opened my eyes to aspects of social media I usually glaze over. It highlighted the importance of keeping organised with simple tools such as spreadsheets and weekly/monthly strategies to ensure you’re marketing with social media effectively. There is a lot that can be done in the social media world and it’s on the verge of its boom (if you argue it hasn’t already). So it’s an exciting time to push the boundaries and see what can happen, particularly as there are no experts.
Looking forward to hear your thoughts,
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