The buzz words of the moment

20th Jul 2015 by ian mcallister

There are no two words together than can spark as much debate as “Social” and “Media”. Well, “Politicians” and “Pay-rise” comes close, but only if you hyphenate pay-rise.

Ladies and gentleman - in the red corner, weighing in at 140 characters and known for their punchy, straight to the point message are the Pro-Social Media club!

And to my right, in the blue corner and weighing in at every given opportunity with an opinion on the matter are the Anti-Social Medias!

Ding ding, seconds away.

It’s an early start for the Anti’s, with criticism of online profiles including trolling, time wasting and cyber-bullying. But the pro’s have parried the blow and countered with business development, brand awareness and relationship building.

The truth is, both arguments are legitimate. Yes it can be a waste of time if you don’t use it effectively and yes, people can say nasty things to you. But with the right planning and moderation then social media can be the best way to spread the message about your brand without breaking the bank.

The BBC show Points of View was like a twitter predecessor – it allowed frustrated and irritable people to vent their spleen behind a curtain of anonymity. Reginald from Basingstoke would write a letter declaring his utter despair and disgust at the fact that “… the young lady on Antiques Roadshow appeared to have some kind of denim trouser on. Denim? What is the world coming to when we have to be subjected to a punk rocker presenting the most treasured programme on the beeb?” In reality, this is no different to @KJ789 tweeting "@AnneJRobinson - OMG, jeans on #AntiquesRoadshow She looks like a chav!”.

But forget these mindless, time wasting and – quite frankly – boring tweets. If you’re one of the many millions of people who read Heat, OK! And Now! then this is the twitter for you.

But if you’re not bothered about TOWIE or Bieber Fever – and you’ll find that the majority of people are not – then if you utilise social media effectively with a fully thought out marketing plan then you’ll be amazed at the community you will become a part of.

But if you're going to do it, do it right - right?

1.Target the right people. If you have 10 followers (including your mum and your next door neighbour) but are following 1000 people (including Ant, Dec and Justin Bieber) then I suggest you are following the wrong people. By strategically following your current and future customers then you are effectively giving them a nudge to follow you back. Then – and only then – will you message reach the right people.

2.Say the right things. In honesty, no-one cares if you had a nice cup of coffee, are running late for work (stop tweeting and get dressed then!!) or just saw a cute kitten. Well, someone might, but your customers won’t. That said, telling people fifty times a day that “this is the best product you will see so you need to buy it now before it’s gone!!!” will have an equal effect. Mix it up a bit – some business, some personal. Your brand has a personality, whether it’s a conglomerate like Coca Cola or a one man band.

3.Post at the right times. Using super-duper hi-tech analytical websites you are able to tell when your audience are online. Don’t waste your time posting through the day if your audience are at work otherwise your interaction levels will be low.

4.Post regularly. If you think that posting once a day or – god forbid – even less frequently is ok then you’re mistaken. Do me a favour – go to twitter now and read the tweet at the top of the screen. Ok. Count to five…..1……2……3……4……5. Now hit refresh. And now count how many more tweets you’ll see before you get to the one you saw just then. If this is your one post per day, think how few people will see it. #BlinkAndYoullMissIt

5.Interact. No-one likes a bore. A boar on the other hand – pretty cool, particularly Pumbaa. But I digress. If you’re using social media as a one way notice board then people will fairly quickly get fed up and switch off. Interact – ask questions, join in conversations and poll opinions. A very clever lady once gave me some advice – “when you log on to twitter, scroll down for the count of 3 on your home screen then reply to every tweet you see. This will have a few purposes – it will encourage you to speak to varied people (not just the girl from accounts) and it will provoke varied conversations.”. I’ve just done it now and my conversations were about “Moves like Jagger”, NE business investment and beef salami sticks.

Social media has to be just that – Social. If it’s not, it’s a waste of time.

If you don’t have time to run an effective social media campaign then get in touch – us over here at lazy grace plan and execute social media and marketing campaigns for a HUGE variety of clients as part of an ongoing marketing provision. We can do as much or as little as you would like, so don’t think that outsourcing your marketing is something that will break your budget.

If you would like to talk then find us on social media. Or do what they did in the olden days and send us a letter or postcard…. "Why, oh why, oh why..." “Yours, dismayed of Rothbury”

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