Social Business

Advice for Social Media Week: 4 Social Media Tips from Rachel Gross

In honor of social media week I thought I’d share 9 tips that Rachel Gross shared with me at the last ISSMM executive event I moderated.  I’ll share them in two posts. Rachel, who is the social media manager for Sanuk (a cool sandals company), provided the following tips:

1)   Know your tools.  Some social media advice for businesses Rachel Gross started with is, “You can’t think I’ve got Facebook and I’ve got Twitter and I’m done.” It’s a dynamic space and the number of social networking channels are growing and changing rapidly.  She suggested reading to keep up on the latest social media tips.

2)   Know thyself.  Before you can do any meaningful social media marketing, you need to know who you and who you are talking to.  You have to know who you are before you can tell your customers and prospects who you are.  For example, are you the “go to” person for technical advice?  Are you an expert on this topic?  She also mentioned that a brand must define what it expects to give to its fans. In some cases, the brand could be providing entertainment in other cases it could be education or discounts. People want something from you in social.  The business must figure out what that value is.

I agree with this. Lopez Research is a mobile strategy and market research firm.  I comment on mobile because that’s what my followers expect to read about.   I stray only to comment on adjacent markets such as mobile combined with cloud or social, so the social media advice from Ms. Gross at ISSMM made perfect sense to me.

3)    Find your audience. Maybe your brand isn’t designed to engage in social media marketing on Twitter. Rather than fight issues such as legal compliance, embrace what you can do. Walk away from things that aren’t a clear win.  If Tumbler isn’t for you, don’t do Tumbler for your business. “Don’t have that social media envy, even with your competitor,” she says.  Ms. Gross shared her experiences fighting the legal battles of what could and couldn’t be said online while she was social media manager for Boost Mobile. Bottom line, if you have strict legal compliance issues, social media marketing and customer care will be a challenge.

Good point, just last week I was trying to decide if anyone would follow Lopez Research on Pintrest.  I’m sure I could create a wonderful mobile/social/cloud scrapbook but I’m probably better off with Google Plus or LinkedIN.  Any additional tips for social media for businesses are welcome.

4)   Speak their language. What is it that your fans want to talk about?  This is two-way dialogue. If you spit info it isn’t social media marketing – it’s just another form of print advertising. You can’t communicate back to an ad. One of the ISSMM summit members was from a university and asked Rachel Gross’ social media advice. She provided an example of engagement. Instead of sending the banner ad link to the main web site, she suggested sending users to the university Facebook info tab. They could then go to the wall and post a question, etc.  She noted that people want to be given information in the easiest fashion and a brand only has a few seconds to engage a prospect or fan.

My take for Social Media Week: the dialogue involved in social media for business is harder than it looks.  I want to share what I am doing and I want to engage around what I am doing.  Striking a balance in social media marketing where I’m not an ad is still a challenge.  Some areas are easier to engage on than others.  But asking your followers questions is a good way to start.

I’ll post part 2 tomorrow!

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