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Social media will manage itself

by Kelly Hobkirk

Social media management is am interesting topic. Every day we hear the same things: How will we manage our social media? Or control it?

Answer: Don’t. Social media will manage itself. And you don’t need to control it either.

Then there’s my favorite: What should we say on social media?

It’s fascinating to watch business people be all but completely flummoxed by social media. If you dissect the word parts of the phrase, you get ‘social’ and ‘media’. Pretty simple, yes? You’re either social or you’re not. Simple. And if you advertise or even just have a website (both business basics), you have media. To be social with your media, you just take it live, albeit without the sales pitch.

Do you really have to be part of the conversation? Probably not. Or can you just go on communicating effectively with the people who make your business? Probably so. Will you get left behind by being a social media outsider? Not likely.

As the population rises, new generations will not supplant old. They just create new markets.

If you really want to take part in social media, find relevant conversations, but first, think about your motivation for wanting to contribute, then see if it aligns with your business goals.

When you have enough Facebook likers, you can leverage your numbers to connect with them on Facebook and connect with them through other sites (this is really just advertising, but shhh, don’t tell). Until then, just be social without imposing obvious advertisements, and you’ll be just fine. Same thing goes for your blog. Keep it to relevant editorial. Leave out the sales pitch text (such as ‘act now’ and so on) that your business instincts tell you to insert. Again, simple.

Train anyone on your team who will be adding to the conversation to understand your brand inside out. Teach them that a positive attitude online is like gold, and negativity is like kryptonite. These are basic customer service concepts. When your peeps communicate with an overall sunny presence, their communications will manage themselves.

Unless your company has a reputation for treating people like they are all evil ogre mother-in-laws, don’t worry so much about controlling the conversation about your business. Let it flow, and happily correct any gross misrepresentations.

The truth is most companies need to worry more about improving their customer service, and let social media manage itself.

(If you really want your social media handled and managed, we do that too.)

Posted by Kelly Hobkirk • June 7, 2012 • Tags: ,

Why tie your company Facebook page to your personal account?

by Kelly Hobkirk

A common client question: can I create a company Facebook page without tying it to my personal Facebook account?

The answer is, yes, you can create an independent Facebook company page, but why would you want to?

Detractors from creating a company Facebook page without having it tied to your personal Facebook account:
• Facebook is fundamentally about connecting people. An independent company page will not connect people. In fact, it places a virtual wall between you and the people who ‘Like’ you and your company.

• A company Facebook page will not garner as much trust when it is not connected to a person, undermining one of the primary benefits of Facebook. Think about it, when you ‘Like’ something on Facebook, you endorse it, believe in it. With your company page, you are asking people to do the same thing. Ultimately, you want their trust. Thing is, people don’t trust companies. People trust people.

• You can’t create applications or connect to them. What if your company Facebook page needs to connect people to a third-party application or website? No can do if it’s not connected to your personal Facebook account.

The bottom line is this: If you want people to trust your company on Facebook, Facebook needs to know they can trust you. They do that by being connected to you and your company. They’re keeping it personal, and they are asking you to do the same.

Linking your personal Facebook page to your company Facebook page is a strategically sound approach for everyone. If you need a frame of reference, just think about how consumers have developed contempt for large corporations who failed to earn their trust by marketing false claims for decades. This approach keeps each person and company accountable for the claims they make, the offers they promote, and the connections they forge.

Posted by Kelly Hobkirk • May 30, 2012 • Tags: