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28 August 2014

Social media – get closer to your customers

Representing your brand in 140 characters is undoubtedly a challenge! But it’s worth getting right. In these ‘techno-times’ if your customers are really happy or – eek- really unhappy with you, chances are they’ll reach for their phone and tweet or post a response. What’s more, they’ll expect you to respond pretty sharpish.

Get up close and personal

Merely tweeting sections of your marketing strategy or pasting the headline of your latest ad won’t really cut the mustard. Social media is a much more personal way to connect with your customers and share your story.

We’re intuitively drawn to people who are like us and, therefore, brands that are like us. Social media allows companies to get closer to their customers. Because there is limited cost attached, you take time to simply chat to them, find out what they care about and start a conversation. It’s not all about the sale!

You can be more human. You’ll need a few guidelines;  you don’t want your staff tweeting images of their cat’s crazy antics or unruly nights out! Just imagine you’re contacting a well-respected friend and you can’t go too far wrong.

Newsjacking – the good the bad and the ugly

The frequency that businesses are expected be active on social media can seem daunting, so it’s a good idea to have a little calendar of topics. However, you should also keep an ear to the ground so you can comment on current topics that your company has an opinion on. It might help to think of social media like one big conversation.

If you do it well, you can generate a lot of interest. Take Oreo, the American cookie company. During the famous Super Bowl black out of 2013 they posted the following cheeky Tweet:

“You can still dunk in the dark”.

Current, newsworthy, nicely linked to their product and also a little bit tongue in cheek. The interest it generated was phenomenal and they were crowned the biggest winners of the US’s most profitable sporting event.

However, done badly and newsjacking is painfully cringe worthy. Take the guys at EyeSmart, a US opticians. As Martin Luther King Day approached, their social media folks must have been wracking their brains to come up with a topical link. They came up with this corker!

“How will you celebrate MLK day? Whatever you do, don’t forget to protect your eyes!”

Two completely unrelated topics forced together, like the ugly sister’s foot in Cinderella’s glass slipper- eeuwww! If you’re trying to connect to a major international or national event, make sure what you have to say is relevant.

Sorry became a whole lot easier

The other tricky area social media helps us navigate is the apology. According to Sir Elton, ‘sorry’ is the hardest word to say. But thanks to social media, it’s now a whole lot easier. It’s true that in the digital age, mistakes come to light very quickly. However, you can now acknowledge them instantly, explain what you’re going to do about it and move on. Without social media everything was a bit cloak and dagger. Today, problems can be done and dusted within days.

If this is an area you could do with a little more help in, give us a shout. Have a look at some of our current work and give us a call if you want to chat more. Don’t worry, we won’t limit our conversation to 140 characters. We’ll even make you a cup of tea or coffee whilst we chat!

If you’d like to find out more about how our design and consultation services can help you get the results you wantjust give us a call on 01892 541111, email us at hello@ifour.co.uk or visit our design agency studio in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

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