Nuts & Bolts - Social Media: 5 Tactics to Amplify Your Efforts
“If your company doesn’t have anything to talk about, then you need to work on it,” is the reply Steve Spangler gives to marketers who list no content as the reason why their firms don’t participate in social media. As the CEO of Steve Spangler Science, an e-commerce site and catalog that sells science project experiments and educational toys, Spangler blogs, twitters, runs a Facebook fan page and participates in the overall social media sphere. These efforts are rewarded with 4 percent of the site’s traffic and 12 percent of its sales being generated by the blog alone—no discounting program involved.
Speaking as part of a panel at ACCM this past May, Spangler shared ideas on what to say in social media and how to say it.
1. Tell them something new. People love to make discoveries, Spangler explains, and then tell everyone they know. Provide sharing tools on your blog to turn customers into an unofficial sales force.
2. Find out who’s talking. Spangler uses Twitter Search to see who’s twittering about him or his company, noting any topic trends to leverage in his tweets or blog in addition to reaching out to loyal supporters.
3. Leverage your exposure. Any public mentions of Steve Spangler Science in media outlets or other notable third-party sources get used for his blog postings, where they serve almost like testimonials.
4. Give your key employees a voice. Some members of Spangler’s staff host Twitter accounts, sharing their behind-the-scenes insights into the company. His main rules? Each stays true to his or her function at the company (e.g, a customer service manager tweets about customer service) and no personal stuff (like what he ate for lunch).
5. Address negative publicity publicly. Spangler fights fire with fire by responding to negative or inaccurate postings on other social media venues via those sites’ comment or posting tools. Doing so makes your position visible and helps clear up misconceptions. Transparency is a two-way street, however, so remember to keep your activity in the social media sphere honest and earnest.