Facebook

Social media map

To catch a Social Butterfly

So you want to have fun, engage in this social stuff catch a few million social butterflies and continue the good reputation of the company? Where do you start? You have a Facebook account right!!

Well according to Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) their five points to using media are, choose your Social Media application carefully, there are many Social Media applications and you cannot participate in them all. Choose a Social Media application which is populated by the demographic you are targeting, be active where ever your customers are. Pick an existing application or make you own. For most NZ SMB designing your own application is not a possibility so they will use an application like Facebook or Twitter. The benefits of using an existing application is reduced setup costs and access to their user base. The disadvantage is they can charge you what ever advertising rates they want and you are stuck with their application limits.

Ensure activity alignment. Consider how your products show on Social Media applications, or do you need to use a combination of applications? An example of this is a YouTube video embedded in a Facebook feed. Media plan integration then becomes important. How will this Social Media integrate into your tradition media. Kaplan and Haenlein states integration is the key, your message should be same no matter if on a bill board or on your Facebook page.

Their final point to using media is create access for all. Make sure sure your business employees have access to your Social Media website this will allow them to see what is happening and visualizes the companies direction. Singing from the same score sheet rings in my ears.

Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) also give five hints about being social.

Firstly be active make sure your content is fresh and you answer questions or comments posted by your customers. Participating in open active conversation shows your business listens to its customers. Be interested boring content is not worth reading, relax spice content up gives better engagement. Ask your customer what they want to hear about, then develop content based on this research.

Be humble social media was around before business saw it as a marketing opportunity. Make sure you understand the rules and terms of use of your chosen Social Media application. Play by the rules! Now here is a twist be unprofessional you do not need to employ professional writers and designers. Users do not mind the odd mistake or that a standard theme is used. It the message that is important remember be humble.

Be honest your social reputation can be bruised very quickly, especially if you do not follow the rules, remember your customers using Social Media are technologically capable and talk to each other. Where are you going to hide?

Have a question or something to say leave a comment below.

Kaplan, AM & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world untie! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons 53(1), 59-68.

Google Glass

Attracting a crowd

In my previous blogs I supplied facts stating social butterflies on the internet are good business. Imagine if you could attract a large number of social butterflies all to the same place, in the social media world this is called crowd sourcing. Wikipedia states crowd sourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people especially from an online community.

Here is an example I personal experienced on my Facebook wall this week. Westpac bank in New Zealand are promoting the use of wearable Google glasses to access your Westpac bank account. The marketing video on their web site shows a young lady shopping wearing a pair of Google glasses. She uses the information supplied by Google to locate Westpac ATM’s, check her bank balance and even transfer money between accounts when she spots a pair of shoes she wants to purchase, money was transfer from savings to purchasing account.

If the video is correct the banking world is about to change, but can you see your mother or grandmother using technology like this? Hmm no I hear you say…..I doubt it too. Our parents trust the bank because it is bricks and mortar, something tangible, somewhere to go and discuss their banking needs, problems or place their money. Are they going to trust numbers and commands projected into glass attached to their bifocals accessing their saving? No way but you might especially if you are under the age of 30.

Westpac have used social media in the form of advertisements through Facebook to encourage clients and non clients to signup for a trial of this new technology. I suspect their target market is young professionals in their late 20’s early 30s. This advertisement was posted on my wall by a friends sharing their Facebook database as they signed up for a demonstration at Westpac. So did I sign up? Yes of course, who likes standing in bank queues plus I cannot wait to get my hands on this piece of cool kit.

Was it hard to enter? In Facebook I clicked on the subscribe link, entered my preferred Westpac location, accepted their terms of engagement and guess what, their application wanted to access my database of friends. Being a sharing, caring person I said yes and the advertisement jumped into my friends Facebook walls to spread the good news. I can hear the gathering of a crowd now.

Have a question or something to say leave a comment below.

How can Social butterflies ring the till?

What attracts a butterfly in real life? Food substance, the need to live or propagation. Then the same can be said of an online digital social butterfly. So how do we attract this species? How do we feed its needs while making a dollar?

A MYOB report (October 2012) states 86% of NZers use the internet every day. I am guessing probably the other 14% of NZers live in the bush without internet or are too small to reach the keyboard, smartphone, tablet or TV remote. This same report indicates NZ business, specifically small businesses are slow to take advantage of social media yet 35% have their own website.

The reasons given for this slow adoption of social media by small business owner are, not being “tech-savvy” or stating we already have a website why do we now need social media as well? The report is clear social media is treated as low priority when comparing it to core business functions, mainly due to a lack of resources or expertise.

When the internet first exploded down our dialup modems at the alarming speed of 9600 bits per second we were continual warned the internet is dangerous. “Do not let your firewall down or who knows what sorts of digital bugs can come in?” I believe this type of comment has instilled a fear in managers and owners of small business of internet use. Perhaps they have past experience of virus attacks and the following large IT costs required to repair broken software have left a strong miss trust of placing their data in the cloud.

According to NZ Ministry of Business small businesses dominate our industries in New Zealand and likely to be run by a male aged between 40-59 years old. When these managers or directors were at school computers were larger than cars and the internet was still a dream. No wonder social media is struggling to gain traction.

So how can small business (SME) use social media to bring in more business? You could encourage connecting to your customer base through a Facebook site, or maybe write a blog about your products or services, ask for feedback on potential product changes. Good communication with your customers or potentials clients will give a business the knowledge and strategy of where their business needs to head.

My title asks the question “How can Social butterflies ring the till?” By using social media you gain a better connection to your clients and gain more clients as you explore into their social networks. Sites like Linkedin help build relationships with suppliers or similar business and help human resources, source new skilled employees. All without using expensive consultants and social media tools to create these links to clients are free, so get started today. If you are in the over 40 plus bracket in age maybe you should ask your kids how to use Twitter or Facebook first.

Have a question or something to say leave a comment below.