Written By: Nadia Ibanez and Bill Byrne
Executives are always asking themselves, “How can I make money off of social media?” But what should you really should be asking yourself first is whether or not you have a firm understanding of how to integrate social media into your business without losing that personal touch. We speak with Bill Byrne, Co-founder of San Diego-based Remedy Communications, a brand communication solutions agency, about how to make the most of social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook.
Bill Byrne has capitalized the local marketing market and has worked on social media and branding campaigns with major companies like Intel, Burton Snowboards, LG Electronics, Simple Mobile, Santa Cruz Skateboards, Gargoyles Eyewear and Duracell.
As many companies are going to social media for free self-promotion of their brand and website, what do you suggest for business owners to do to make for a more human experience while increasing visibility for their brand?
Your social media presence should have a voice that’s in line with your brand’s identity. Besides being conversational, you need to speak in a way that’s real and expected by your brands audience. If a company sells make-up for teen girls, their social media voice should sound very different than a brand that markets golf apparel to new players. Even if the internal employees are not the target demographic (and at many companies, they aren’t), the public voice in social media should be in line with what the consumer expects and wants.
What are some of the trends and issues you’re seeing with social media?
Unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of overuse in social media, as well as a poor use of timing and metrics, which is going to hurt things in the long run. Social media is quickly becoming junk mail in a lot of ways.
Some brands will post incessantly via Facebook, Twitter, etc. Basically, whenever they have time or feel they have news worth sharing. That’s the wrong approach. People can follow you on Twitter or Like your brand on Facebook, but hide your posts. So while you’ve got a large following, in reality, they’re not looking at your message. Look at your personal list of friends on Facebook. How many of them have you hit the hide button for, or simply don’t see their posts any longer in your feed? The same things happen for brand pages.
You should post when it’s relevant and appropriate. Tweets every 2 minutes may work when you’re having an event your audience would love to know about but can’t attend, but in other instances it can be taken as incredibly annoying.
What route should an emerging business take when they want quick growth in their industry?
Put together a realistic plan, be ready to handle a potential growth explosion and at the same time, plan for things not to work out in your favor immediately. We see three scenarios fairly often.
Realize you may not be an overnight success and prepare for that. Most businesses aren’t successes right away and even though a similar approach worked for one brand, it may not work for yours. Case studies are great to learn from, but if success was as easy as following someone else’s roadmap, we’d all be successful.
If everything works out and you do have quick growth, make sure you can scale for it. Sometimes a brand has a great story to tell and secures a lot of buzz right out of the gate, but then doesn’t have the resources to take advantage of it. If you can’t ship your widgets to the 1,000 people who want them right now, you’re missing potential customers, early adopters and fans for life.
Lastly, have a long term, realistic plan in place that includes financials and next steps in terms of products or whatever it is your business does. Make sure your company is able to maintain if growth is slow.