Once your company realizes that social media isn’t as scary as it seems and you’re ready to dive in, Ken Colburn, president of Data Doctors Franchise Systems, has plenty of tips, several of which he shared with the attendees of the “Beyond Facebook: Reaching Your Unique Audience Where They Live Online” session on Tuesday at the IFA 2011 Annual Convention.
“I think Facebook is the best way for a brand to engage with their existing apostles,” the people who already have a relationship with the brand, said Colburn. It’s also an easy way to start because you’re just talking with your fans, not trying to get new people to love you, he adds.
One trick for getting people to keep coming back to your company’s Facebook page is to post information about what’s happening on Facebook in general, such as when Facebook makes a change to the way it chooses what information to post on your news feed. It may not have anything to do with your company, but it will show you’re knowledgeable about information people want and your fans will want to keep coming back for that knowledge, he said.
Another strategy is to ask questions that get people into discussions. They may relate to your business, and they may not. Colburn said he has polled asked people about slogans for the T-shirts Data Doctors employees wear and about a name for the dog he rescued from the shelter. Both times he got people talking. “The community is not just about computers it’s about who you are,” said Colburn; it’s about networking and connecting.
If you’re sending and accepting invites and not doing anything else, it’s like going to the high-school dance and just standing against the wall, said Colburn. “There’s a whole Q-and-A thing going on in LinkedIn every single day” and you need to get in on it by asking or answering a question. LinkedIn’s Q-and-A database is where you post. It’s a place lots of people don’t know about, but it’s where you should be, he said.
Also, join as many relevant groups “as you can stomach,” said Colburn. “You guys know how to network in the real world — you just need to take those skills online where it’s much more efficient.”
Don’t get caught up on the number of followers you have, because that’s not engagement, said Colburn. It’s better to have 200 solidly engaged people following you than 20,000 non-engaged followers.
The easiest way to get people to pay attention to you is to “give the peeps their props” by retweeting them and calling attention to them. Commit to spending five minutes every day with your account and find someone to retweet — at least one person, every single day. It doesn’t have to be a person you follow, just someone who has said something good and relevant.
Get started by creating a YouTube channel for your company so you’ll have a place to put your videos, said Colburn. When you start posting, you should aim for 30- to 60-second videos because people browsing the Web don’t have the attention span for anything longer, he said.
An inexpensive video camera will work. In fact, if your video is too slick, people will think it’s too corporate and tune out, he added.
Finally, write a description for each video you post and make sure it includes plenty of keywords. Google owns YouTube, so those keywords will help your videos rise to the top of searches, said Colburn.
Image credit: dial-a-view, via iStockphoto
Check out more IFA 2011 Annual Convention coverage by Brooke Howell: