Y’all know I’m basically glued to either my laptop or my iPhone all day long. Yes, I take a break when I’m sleeping, but otherwise I am a social media junkie. I like to think I’m informed about what is going on way before most people are. My husband will come home at the end of the day and ask me if I heard about something or another. I have. I’m so far ahead of the game.
I realize not everyone is like me. I totally understand that personally you have things going on in your life that don’t revolve around your computer, your smart phone or your online friends. That’s okay. I’m cutting you some slack. But what I really have a hard time understanding is social media from a business perspective. I don’t get it. What I have found is 3 different types of companies/brands/businesses when it comes to social media.
1. Amassing Followers – There are tons of businesses out there that are jumping on the twitter/facebook/pinterest/you tube band-wagon because some PR person or social media guru told them they needed a presence. So they did. They signed up for an account and proceeded to tell everyone, “hey, we’re on _______, come follow us.” And people did. Lots of people. Business XYZ amassed tons of followers – maybe even millions. Now what? Now they might tweet out a new product every now and then, or let you know if they are having a sale. Maybe you follow them because they link to a coupon or pin some fun ways to use their products. That’s great. Only, not really. There are way too many of these businesses who have no interaction whatsoever, despite their massive following. You know the ones, Followers: 578,890 – Following: 20. There is no way a business can actually engage with people when they are only following a handful of people. And most likely, the people they are following are employees or relatives. Ugh!
2. Not Interested – It still surprises me in this day of social media prominence that so many businesses are NOT involved in social media. I can’t tell you how many websites I went to specifically to find out a twitter or facebook handle, only to come away empty-handed because they have none listed. Really? There are at least 50 people I know personally who would kill to have a social media job for one of these companies to do nothing else but sit on the computer and engage with followers all day long. And chances are, they wouldn’t charge an arm and a leg to do it. I don’t know if it’s fear or ignorance, but I know it’s annoying and these companies better get on board. Fast.
3. The 2-Way Street – As many companies as there are that just don’t get social media, there are some that actually have gotten it right. These are the businesses that not only have lots of followers, but they are actually following people back. What a concept! And it goes beyond just following your followers. It’s searching the internet for issues that come up and reaching out to fix them. I once posted about some issues I had with Sears. Wouldn’t you know it… Sears tweeted me back immediately asking if there was anything they could do to help. Now THAT is what I call a 2-way street. I’m the customer… and the customer is always right, right?
Engagement is something that has to be moved up to priority ONE. Simply having a presence is good. Engaging with your audience is awesome. And profitable. And creates loyal customers. The last time I heard, loyal customers = profit. Name me one business that doesn’t want that!