While almost every business these days can claim to do social media marketing in one form or another, in my experience, very few can actually do it very well.
For social media marketing to work, it needs to be authentic and warm (like a conversation between two friends). However, in most cases, the social “output” that many businesses generate seems a little engineered, lacking in spontaneity and, occasionally, completely forced.
Begging for Engagement
How many times have you visited a business that virtually begs you for some form of social media endorsement? The positive tweet, Facebook or Instagram post, or online review seems to be more of a priority than ensuring the customer gets the service they deserve.
Further Reading: How Not to Ask a Customer for a Positive Online Review.
And then there are all the gimmicks and overly contrived hashtags that try to place “creative ideas” into customers’ minds and don’t really add to the conversation. It’s little wonder “likes” and “shares” and more important metrics like sales fail to materialize in significant numbers.
The thing is, the correct approach to social media is sometimes so obvious, it might be all too easy to miss.
Sell Your Service, Not a Selfie
I recently visited a forest-based vacation resort that tried to encourage visitors to share images via social media using a cardboard prop selfie frame and a rather random hashtag. While guests were lining up to use the frame and hopefully later (due to the resort’s lack of reliable WiFi) post selfies to their preferred social media channels, the images of smiling families (which could have been taken anywhere) did very little to actually sell the resort.
The thing is, the resort, with its fantastic forest views, fabulous dining experiences and excellent leisure opportunities — not to mention on-tap and highly photogenic wildlife — didn’t need a gimmick to get people to reach for their smartphones and start posting (if only they could get onto the WiFi).
Note: Your customers want to show off with their social media activity. They want to demonstrate that they have impeccable taste, a great eye for a photo opportunity and a keen sense of humor, which they can showcase with their own carefully worded posts. They don’t want to post the same image and generic hashtag as the person in front of them in a queue.
Great W-Fi Should Be Your №1 Priority
The best social media posts happen in the moment. They tell people that you are somewhere now. They make people jealous. They inspire people to act — often immediately. Social media needs personality, and if your business doesn’t already have this, it won’t be found behind a gimmick.
The moral of the story is just do what you do best and make sure your customers can connect to your WiFi as easily as possible, and your social media campaign will almost look after itself.
How do you ensure your customers’ social media activities position your brand in an authentic, immediate fashion? Share your comments below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.