Social media engagement doesn’t always have to be fun, but it should be customer-centric. Rather than trying to be the life of every party on every social network, simply think about what customers and community stake-holders want from you and over deliver.
Boring but Important
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate in a variety of browsers including different types of mobile browsers.
- Build a mobile application that makes transactions easier. Mobile apps improve the speed with which people can access your site and his/her account or profile information since it lives on the phone — no more waiting for mobile browsers to load pages.
- Make contact information readily accessible on your website without having to search and click on too many links. Include email addresses and direct phone numbers. Walled gardens and information silos are so last century.
- Add a resources page to your website with shareable and embeddable (not just downloadable) company logos for journalists and bloggers to use in their stories about you.
- Track the most popular search terms and places on your site and make those elements more prominent. Give the people what they want.
- Visit the real world once in awhile. For example, if you make toilet paper, don’t appoint someone to talk to me about toilet paper on Twitter (please don’t do this!). Instead, maybe become an official sponsor at an entertainment venue — make your product available to use and appoint on-site staff to ensure that it never runs out.
- Make it as easy to opt-out as it is to opt-in. Show a little confidence — besides, you’ll get better metrics.
- Stop pitching media about you, You, YOU all the time. Monitor your feedback for interesting stories and pitch THEM to the media. Be willing to be an auxiliary component of the story and turn the spotlight on your most passionate customers.
- Don’t ignore search. Learn how to properly tag your content so it can easily found by people already in pursuit of what you have to offer.
- Make your site more accessible to special populations. Check out Glenda Watson Hyatt’s presentation on making your blog more accessible. There’s nothing boring about this presentation, but it may be the most important thing I’ve seen all year. P.S. It turns out good SEO also improves accessibility for special populations online. Bonus!
- Get rid of voicemail. Sounds radical, eh? Central Bank, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky has a company-wide ban on the use of voicemail. This ensures that somebody is always available to answer the phone.
- Add a social media newsroom or interactive press room (what you call it is your business) to your website. Optimize your press releases for search and add multimedia elements that can be shared and embedded (not just downloaded). Make sure the items can be found as part of an overall press release as well as a la carte. DO NOT just list a bunch of links to old releases — or even worse, PDFs of old releases.
- Create an internal newsletter that shares external news with the people inside your organization. So often, the people working for a company are last to hear news about their company. Whether the coverage is positive or negative, there are several benefits of having a well-informed workforce.
- Bring down your firewall. Studies actually indicate that employees who communicate on social networks are more productive than those who don’t. More than just goofing off, social networks offer employees a shortcut to communication with important contacts.
- Bring down the silos. The social media ethos is all about giving everyone a voice. Rigid power structures that distance those on the front lines from those at the top of the organization create bottle necks of productivity and ensure inefficiency.
- Be nice: Clean up your messes, apologize when you’re wrong and listen to feedback even when it hurts.
Am I missing anything? What other boring but important things can you add to this list to help businesses be more social?
Photo by Scott Ableman