be present

Last week, we shared the three P’s of Social Media Marketing:

  • Be Present
  • Post in Real Time
  • Plan Content in Advance.

Today, we are going to dive deeper into what it means to be present online.  And we start by taking a little advice from Vanilla Ice.  Being present online requires the same vital skill as being present in person – listen first and listen well.

Start A Conversation by Asking a Question

This article from the New York Times recaps how companies like Wal-Mart, Estée Lauder’s MAC Cosmetics and Samuel Adams each used Facebook or Twitter to make final determinations on new products.  The benefits of developing a conversation like this with your online followers are ongoing.  First, you are able to begin marketing a new product or service before you release it creating excitement as you go.  Second, your followers who leave comments take ownership of your product or your brand.  This is how you turn customers into advocates.  They start talking about you online without you asking them to and 78% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations.  And most importantly, you deliver a product or service which meets the actual desires or needs or your customers and everyone wins.

Be Aware of What’s Happening Around You

There is a larger conversation happening each and every day on social media.  Some of these are obvious.  Last week, 2.7 million people changed their Facebook profile picture in support of a Human Rights Campaign.  Trends are happening every day on Twitter.  The issue may not seem relevant to your business but it could be very relevant to your audience.  How are they consuming the information they find online?  Where do they go to get their news?  Who are they all following?  Do they watch videos or read blogs?  There is a mood online.  But you have to stop to hear it.

Be Generous

When you truly make yourself available to someone, you are actively listening to see how you can help them, how you can improve their lives, how you can add value to their day.  Seth Godin says, “interacting without delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages is a waste at best, annoying at worst.”  There is no longer a place for activity for activity’s sake online.  You need to deliver content, ideas and opportunities which hold real meaning and value for your customers and potential customers.

Start by simply asking yourself, what would I say to this person if they were sitting right here, right now?  In 140 characters or less.  Go.

Check back on Wednesday to find out when, how and why to post in real time.