September 2012
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Top Five Tips for Taking Your Social Media “Back to School”

Make this fall the time to truly grow your Social Media network

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor

 


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The month of September brings many things for people around the world, but for those of us in North America it means “back to school” for children.  Back to the books and classes, and learning new things.  I don’t see why it can’t be the same for business.  Most Industrial Automation and BAS companies tend to have slow quarters during the summer months.  This lets hardworking employees have some much needed downtime, but what does that do to a marketing plan? 

Most summer marketing plans will run a little thin as marketers know that crews are often run on reduced staffs and getting people to watch a webcast is a little harder when no one has the time to spare.  That makes the month of September an especially busy month.  Everyone is back to work and getting ready for either the fall trade shows, or trying to close what contracts they can before the Christmas break. In the US the end of business for marketers has always been unofficially “American Thanksgiving”.  This year American Thanksgiving falls on November 22, 2012.   That makes it the unofficial deadline for sales and marketing pros to get something moving.  After that everyone’s thoughts start to drift into Christmas, vacations, and spending time with family.  Sure business closes after Nov 23rd, but that business was typically started early in the fall and then closed after Nov 23rd. 

As I have said that makes September a critical month to really kick marketing campaigns into high gear.  It is also the time to take head of some of the lessons that “back to school” brings and apply them to your company’s social media campaigns.  This will enable them to continue to bring in fresh new leads and expand networks.

Top Five Tips for Taking Your Social Media “Back to School”

  1. Get some new clothes – Corporate branding is extremely important in maintaining a company’s image, but a new twist on an old brand gets noticed.  The same way that everyone in a high school class looks each other to see who has the newest fashions; viewers of your pages look to see what is new and exciting.  Changing a background picture on a Facebook page changes the entire look of the profile.  Similarly adding a shade to a Twitter background makes it look new and unique.  Everyone has seen that same old website that looks exactly the same no matter what year you visit it.  Boring and dull.  Change it up, and watch the interest rise.
  1. Have some great stories about your summer – Everyone used to love to swap stories about what they did this past summer.  Why not use that same theme to kick up some interest for your Social Media pages.  A simple question like: “Which Engineer travelled the farthest from the plant this summer?” can really kick up some traffic to your pages.  Remember Social Media means “social”.  Engaging your audience makes them feel more a part of your company, and they can relate to it better that way.  That relationship makes them more likely to recommend your company to friends and colleagues in the future. That is ultimately why your company maintains these pages anyway.
  1. Make new friends – Too often when companies engage in Social Media campaigns they assume that the only people that they want following them are the people that they hope to sell product too, and nothing can be farther from the truth.  You want everyone!  I look at it as wanting to know everyone that my followers know, and then everyone that they know.  If you take a building complex, or high rise building, there are many contacts from other companies who are involved in not only construction but maintenance.  If my company makes HVAC units, why should I not have the company that does locks or the drywall for the building on my network?  Friends of friends tell friends about companies that they like.  You never know where the lead for your next contract may come from.  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, get busy and look at adding at least 100 new contacts per month until Nov 22nd.  Sounds like a tall order but as soon as you start, it will not take long to have a very extensive network that you can look at mining for campaigns in early 2013.
  1. Reliable Controls Get involved with groups – The fundamental principle that drives LinkedIn is the use of “Group” discussions and Q&A sessions.  There is absolutely no better way to improve your page ranking on LinkedIn than participating in Groups.  Those passionate about LinkedIn have commented that everyone on LinkedIn should participate in at least two discussions per week.  It is a tall order when you look at keeping current on all the other Social Media platforms that your company is using, but LinkedIn is where business goes to network. Definitely worth it.  When you think about adding a contact to LinkedIn, you are actually adding a contact to your marketing database.  New features in LinkedIn enable users to export contacts in a variety of formats including Microsoft Excel.  Once you have added a contact, search for them on Twitter and Facebook.  Nowhere in the Social Media handbook does it say that you can’t hit a user with the same message over different platforms?  No Spam concerns there as they opt-in to be your Friend or Follower.
  1. Do your homework – As users get aggressive adding followers look at the companies that they work for and add them.  Do a little research from their online pages and determine if there is the possibility for your company to either pitch a product, or create a partnership. There are a huge number of companies out there who are looking for the opportunity to partner with your company on what may start as a small project and wind up being a large income stream for both of you.  One of the best ways that companies meet each other is through Social Media marketing pros.  You may find a company that makes blood analyzers and could use the software connectivity that your company provides to increase the value of their product and subsequently increase sales.  OEM’s are on Social Media platforms too, and sometimes it just takes a subtle introduction to create a business opportunity.

Well there are my Top Five Tips for taking your Social Media “Back to School”.  These are the months to be aggressive with quality posts, photos, videos etc.  Make your connections.  Build your networks, and grow your opportunities.




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