So I have had the “pleasure” of having Social Media accounts for Virtuabotix.com and myself for some time now, and I will let you in on a little secret. Most of the time I have no idea what I am doing. 😀
The fact is that until recently I couldn’t even tell you what goal I had in working with it can be a real struggle sometimes to even identify what my social media goal should be. That said, I have tried Likes, and Followers, but I have never seen a real return, or had either achievement motivate me as a business owner. The fact is you can buy the number if thats what makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and often someone who likes or follows you may not actually read your posts, or even be interested in your message.
I recently read a study across 82 other businesses who as far as I can tell have had similar experiences with Social Media, since though no one would admit that the effort was “Absolutely not worth it” as compared to goals, none of the 82 companies said it exceeded their wildest expectations either (Murphy, & Meyer 2013).
Because of this I have changed my goals with respect to Social Media to something that if nothing else will bring me greater satisfaction as a business owner, and product developer. That goal is to get as many people talking about the things they like, the things they don’t like, and the things that folks want to see from Virtuabotix. I have decided through experience and research that 1 engaged member of the Facebook or Twitter community is likely worth more than 100 un-engaged users.
So let me leave you with a few suggestions, of what will likely be an ever moving and changing set of social media suggestions to engage your audience.
1. Look for related questions, and give great real advice or information.
If you find a question about your products, or a related problem you think you can help someone solve you should answer, even if it leads someone to buy an alternative product. A person asking a question on Twitter or Facebook is literally asking you to engage with them. Don’t turn down the invitation if you think you could genuinely contribute to the conversation. (So far this has been the best method I have found to engage users on Twitter in particular.)
2. Ask questions, and good ones!
Just like you should be on the look out for good questions, you should be giving your audience, and the internet at large an opportunity to engage with you as well. This area I will admit is one of my week spots, and area for improvement if you will.
3. Use media! Like pictures and videos
In the same study that I mentioned earlier business owners were asked what posts had the greatest reach, and success. The answer was overwhelmingly that the use of Photographs and other Media gave the best results (Murphy, & Meyer 2013). Not really surprising if you have ever looked at your Facebook feed (yeah, mostly pictures right?). So use them!
4. Have fun!
Well if you are having fun then it will always be worth it in the end right? Well I am throwing this one in even if it’s wrong, because I am stubborn that way :D.
Murphy, J., & Meyer, H. (2013). Best (and Not So Best) Practices in Social Media. ILA Reporter, 31(6), 12-15. Retrieved 28 July 2014 http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lih&AN=94064776&site=eds-live&scope=site