About five years ago if someone asked me what social media was…well I would know because I studied it in school. That’s not the point though, as most wouldn’t be familiar with Twitter, Instagram didn’t exist and Facebook was meant for stalking your high-school crush. These mediums are now instrumental in any company’s marketing strategy as they know how important they are to reaching the hoi polloi today. They are important in two ways;
1) They get the message across to their audience
2) The barrier between business and consumer is broken down, and a two way interaction has been created
This second point is the focus of my blog post. Social Media is not just another way to sell a pair of shoes or advertise your hotel. It’s a voice to your consumer and allows for interaction. For example, if you look at some of the biggest companies on Twitter you can see they know what they’re doing. Starbucks has over four million followers, Jet Blue has close to 1.8 million followers. What these companies also have in common is that they follow close to 100,000 accounts as well! Which means they’re not only speaking to the audience, they’re also listening! This is my mind is the most important part, to be successful in social media, you have to BE SOCIAL! Interact with your followers, reply to them, don’t just speak at them! These companies mentioned above, interact with their followers and therefore are successful in the realm of social media. To show you the other side of this, look at Samsung Mobile. They have over four millions followers as well, yet they follow less than 300 hundred accounts. This to me says they’re not taking part in the real idea of social media, instead using Twitter as a tool to sell not interact.
When I took over my twitter account for my hotel chain from the previous person, they said to me, in order to grow you must do more than just tweet, you must be social. They also explained that I can’t become a follow bot. I can’t just follow anyone I see in order to get them to follow back. Maybe I can gain followers that way, but I’m not getting the right followers! Its very important to follow those that influence you, take part in conversations, and be active in order to grow your online presence. If you become a follow bot, and gain a ton of followers, you look good on paper. What happens when you send out a tweet about something specific you like or a new product your company is announcing. You’re speaking to an audience that is not engaged, your audience isn’t interested in your product, they like the big numbers they see on twitter instead. Therefore, since your audience isn’t engaged, you’re not going to create conversation, and therefore failing in the overall goal of being on social media in the first place!
Remember to be active, engaging, fun, and creative and you’ll become the next Lady Gaga of Twitter! (39 million followers-and she follows me!)