You Might Be There, But Do They Know?!

December 23rd, 2009 by | 1 Comment

By Frank West

Companies establishing a social media presence often forget to make the announcement they are there (seriously). Businesses tend to just assume people will find them, but that is not the case. When businesses dive into social media, they need to let their loyal and potential customers know there are new ways of interacting.

A few simple ways to announce social media involvement:

  1. Post linked iconic social network images on the homepage. Make sure the icons are either at the top of the business homepage or located toward the top of a sidebar and when clicked, the open a new window and do not force users to navigate away from your page. The goal is to encourage users to go to the social networks and become a follower/fan, but also to have  them to return to the site and continue clicking.
  2. Send an email announcement. If the business has an email database, make sure a social media-specific email highlighting business accounts and why becoming a follower/fan will benefit the user, is sent. For instance, add the Facebook icon and explain that by becoming a fan, the user will receive exclusive “Facebook fan only” offers and updates before anyone else gets them! Also, encourage them to post feedback on the wall and participate in discussions or upload photos/videos. It even makes sense to provide a specific reason or theme for uploading to give a direct call-to-action. For subsequent emails, be sure to add the icons in a consistent spot (maybe in the footer) to be sure the message is repeated.
  3. Create point-of-sale materials (if possible) with the icons and URLs. If the business provides a product or service (either on or offline), a perfect opportunity for spreading the word about social accounts is to give a business-sized card advertising the social media accounts and incentivizing their participation. An example is a Boston restaurant, City Table, which uses a combination comment card/social media point-of-sale card to elicit on-site feedback and direct guests to go online. The card is inserted into check books and given to each guest when they receive their bill. The comment card has a perforated edge for guests to remove the card and take it with them.
  4. Get listed in directories. Once accounts are established and the account has gained some followers/fans and generated acitivtiy, be sure to submit the accounts to popular directories. Twellow or Twibs are popular Twitter directories, which can sort information based on geography or keywords.
  5. If you have a blog, mention company accounts and feature linkable icons. Blogs are often viewed by people who are involved in the social space, so it is important to let blog readers know where else they can learn more about the business. There are also options to integrated Facebook fan page and Twitter updates directly on the page.

These ideas will create visibility and start building the valuable social network follower/fan base all businesses need and want to be successful in the social media space!

Jen Cohen is a social media and marketing maven knocked down many times in 26 yrs. Something Creative

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