The First Window in #SM
Posted by Reed Pankratz
We’ve all been to a McDonalds, Burger King or for my local Kansas fans, a Spangles. Each time the process is the same, you roll up, ponder what you’re going to get (even though it’s the same thing every time), finally decide on three miscellaneous items from the $1 menu and wait for your total. Then it happens. The person on the other end of that boxy speaker says, “That’ll be $3.24, please pull around to the second window.” Without even thinking about you, you pull around the corner and as you do you see that first window. As you approach the first window you acknowledge it (so you don’t break off your side view mirror), drive by it, look through the window at the empty space and you may even wonder what the purpose of that first window is. But, then you move on and make a transaction at the second window, get your food, get on your way and forget about the first window until the next time you see it.
So what does it all mean? What does it have to do with social media?
Being “there” isn’t good enough
So you’ve got (for the sake of this example) a Twitter account. Great! So what is it doing? Is it sitting there? Is it driving traffic to other pages? Are people reading your content and interacting? If the answer is “No” then you are the first window. Simply just being in the social space is just as effective as setting a window on the side of a restaurant. If people don’t have a reason to go there, they won’t! You’ve got to give your audience a reason to go to interact with your brand.
That second window has a purpose, it gives you what you came for! When people see your Twitter, it should be giving them what they are looking for, or providing them with a way to get there. So, tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, they are all easy, right? I can confidently say (from experience) that it isn’t! Throwing out a bunch of tweets off the cuff isn’t going to help you; in fact it could confuse your audience. Be purposeful in your messages. But how?
- Define your organizations core values
- Define your audience
- Decide which social media avenue is right for you
- Identify the purpose(s) of that social media account (provide information, increase interaction, boost sales, etc.)
- Create goals based off your values, audience and purpose
- Create strategies and tactics to meet those goals
- Create, and if necessary, test your message
- Finally, get it out there!
Sounds like a lot of work, huh? That’s because it is! Social media is perceived as free or cheap. It is free or cheap to get your message out there, but at the very least it takes time (time=money) to go through those steps and more often than not, you need to pay someone to do it!
You’re doing great, your online, you’ve got a purpose and you’ve gotten people all the way to your site. You’re on step closer to becoming that second window! But before we get there, let’s take a step back. People are at your window, interacting and talking about your brand. It is vital that you provide what your promised! Did you say you’ve got the best product or the lowest price? Well then you need to deliver, or people will jump ship. If you got to Burger King for the new California Whopper and you get a grilled chicken sandwich, you aren’t going to be too thrilled, are you? The same is true for people online.
But now let’s take it one step further, past this metaphor of being a window and into being a real company getting real results. Following up in the social world is the best way to get your audience to stay knowledgeable about your brand and to get them to be repeat customers. You got mentioned because someone loved your product? Reply back and let them know you appreciate it! Your followers just skyrocketed? Tell them you’re glad to have them in your network. You got mentioned because someone had a bad experience? Reach out to them to try and fix the problem! Too many social media accounts are spitting out information and disregarding their audience, they’re like robots. Show people that there is a person on the inside of the window, not just some machine cranking out french fries.
There is a lot of information and opinion out there. You’ve seen mine, what do you think?!
- Reed Pankratz