As we discussed in our recent social media strategies post, this new realm of customer interaction and developing direct relationships with the consumer is not only critical, but also ever changing.
Because of the overwhelming partner interest in the strategies post, we wanted to offer up more information for your business to better position your brand in front of consumers.
First, is getting a social media monitoring tool. Newport Beach & Company’s Director of Online Marketing Mark Rudyk recommends HootSuite for one, which can help you listen to the chatter about your business. “Tools such as HootSuite are free, and offer a valuable way to monitor what is being asked of your brand, especially on Twitter, says Rudyk. “By listening and engaging customer’s questions you not only provide excellent service, you connect with more people through the viral nature of interaction.”
The best message to customers can be tailored from hot topics that those customers are already asking. This can also help build a relationship with that person before they ever step foot in your business.
But listening to the chatter is only half the battle. Rudyk believes businesses need to join the conversation. “Blogging is a great platform not only to get messages on your brand across to the consumer, but it also helps provide strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) juice that will help you to be found in the organic search results on Google, Yahoo & Bing,” says Rudyk.
34% of Fortune 500 companies have public-facing blogs in 2013, according to research from the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. That compares with 23% in 2011 and 16% in 2008.
But if you’re going to blog, Rudyk reminds you to make sure your content is relevant.
One other tool for businesses is to engage online communities. There are many online communities for travel and tourism, and there’s an opportunity to enter that cyberspace and build your brand there.
Rudyk’s last recommendation is to branch out and immerse your brand across the hundreds of social media sites, but stay focused and within your abilities.
Rudyk says, “You should really narrow down to the ones that make the most sense for what it is you are promoting. Brands that translate well visually should look into Tumblr, Instagram, You Tube, Flickr and Pinterest. Really its more important to do a few channels well, instead of trying to hit everything there is and not have the bandwidth to do it right.”