Social Media Follows You on the Road

Five specific tips for business travellers to enjoy more success at social media.

With over 800 million people now on Facebook and another 300 million Twitter accounts already created, the temptation to capitalize on this free-for-all marketing space is seemingly yielding rewards in only a sporadic and random fashion. But considering that these netizens are constantly being plied with marketing and advertising messages all day long, what is the secret of making this cheap yet effective marketing tool work for you?

Listen before you talk. Before your post your first tweet, do a quick search on Twitter for chatter about your business and your competitors. Again put yourself in the customer’s shoes and use search words that your prospective consumer would say.

Don’ t tell your customers to like you and follow you; tell them why and how. The easiest way to tick of your potential consumer on the social network it to issue requests like “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter.” People do not like that. Why would they unless you give them a solid reason to connect with you. Tell them right away about what’s in it for them. In other words, present the value proposition before calling them to action.

Ask questions. The best to market your business online is to engage your customers. Social media is all about having a conversation, after all and not about on-your-face-promoting. If a pizza place posts on Facebook, “Come on by, 2 pizzas for just `200,” nobody will comment, and nobody will show up. If that pizza place posts, “What’s your favorite topping?” people will comment online—and then be more likely to show up.

Share pictures and videos. Don’t under-estimate the power of a good picture. As the cliche goes, it’s worth a thousand tweets and posts. People love looking at cool pictures and can do it all day so use photos and videos to tell stories about your business in ways that text alone cannot. Don’t conjur up images of snotty lifestyle photo shoots and models strewn about everywhere. A decent smartphone and customers, staff, and cool things at your business will do.

Spend at least 30 minutes a day on social media. And finally, actively participation. No one will give your page a second look if the last post was made three months ago and it got only two likes (one of which was from you). Plus, there’s a lot to learn, and every week, new tools and opportunities across social networks emerge. Spend real time each day reading and learning, listening and responding, and truly joining the conversation. The more time you put in to social media, the more benefits your business will receive.

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