Yesterday, I was checking Facebook on my phone while waiting for our Mexican dinner to arrive at the table. Mike and I were at Mi Patron – our favorite restaurant here in Summersville. (I know – no cell phones at the table, but Mike was checking his messages from the day.) The White House had just published a post, (the time-stamp said “just now”), and I clicked it to read it in full. Wow! Talk about getting some interaction!! After browsing through the thousands of comments on this one post, while sipping my margarita, a number of points popped into my head regarding social media:
- Why does the White House have a Facebook page?
- Some people still don’t understand that for social media to be effective as a business tool, you must interact.
- Majority of people own a smartphone with access to their social media accounts.
- There are free resources to create social media profiles the right way if you can’t afford to hire someone to do it correctly for you.
Let me explain each item in detail:
The White House Should Remove Their Facebook Page
I was very surprised by the thousands of comments on this post that the White House published on their Facebook Page that happened immediately. The post requested that fans share the post if they agreed with it. At first, I didn’t see any shares but was really intrigued reading all the negative comments. The tone of the comments almost made me believe that the only people on Facebook were conservative Republicans. With all the anger that was expressed in these comments, it made me glad that it was just in the digital world – rather than an angry mob protesting.
Facebook is a social site – it is meant for interaction but it would have been impossible for someone at the White House, (WH), to address and respond to each comment individually, (also would have been quite depressing). My opinion is that this Page is doing more harm than good for the President – unless the strategy the WH has in mind is to give people a place to vent rather than assembling as that large angry crowd!
This morning, when I checked on the post in order to write this article, I did see there were people who agreed with the statement by the WH. This post earned:
- 1,258 shares (the action the post encouraged)
- 5,497 likes (an action of positive response)
- 1,927 comments (99% negative rants)
If your business page garnered this type of interaction, would you view it as a positive thing or negative? Would it bother you that so many people were bashing your business? How would you react to the activity? Let me know in the comments.
Interaction is Necessary for Social Media to be Effective Business Tool
You’ve all heard it before. “You must be present and active in social media.” But, some people still just don’t get it and view it as a free platform to publish their product developments or toot their own horn. This became apparent to me recently when I was contacted by someone interested in improving their Internet presence and growing their business. We couldn’t come to an agreement on services simply because this individual didn’t understand how social media worked, so they decided to continue managing it themselves – they way they had been in the past. I began following them on the mutual networks we belonged to. When appropriate, I would respond, retweet or interact with their posts – providing conversational opinion or asking questions a lot of the time. What happened? Nothing! No response to my comments – just more posts about what they were doing business-wise. This is not the way to spread the word about your business.
Use Your Smartphone – It Only Takes A Minute
This lack of response from the previous point made me start thinking – 61% of adult cell phone owners have smart phones. These smart phones are capable of having free social media apps installed. Why do some people resist these tools?
One can download and install Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, LinkedIn, Instagram and lots more free apps to make your life easier and keep up to date with your networks. You can even set the apps to alert you when there is a comment or other activity that needs your attention.
My associate Michelle and I manage a number of social networks for clients by scheduling the posts and monitoring the activity. A lot of times, we can do the interacting for the client – simple responses like “thanks! I’m glad you liked the post” or “Our business hours are 7-4pm and we look forward to seeing you.” Of course, these responses can only go so far by us – sometimes the business owner needs to step in and provide responses to more in-depth, business topic discussions that we have no knowledge to do.
A while back, I came across a private message on a client’s page. It was inquiring about something directly related to the client’s business that I did not have the necessary knowledge to answer. I immediately texted the client to alert them of the needed response. Their reply to my text? “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Huh? You’re on your smartphone – you just replied to my text! Interact on your social network or, at least text the response to me and I will post it. I ended up replying with “I’ve seen your message and need a little while to think about it”, which at least shows there is a live person at the other end of the screen.
Use the Free Resources to Set Up Your Social Media Networks the Right Way the First Time
At least once a week someone contacts me for advice on best practices for their social network. (More frequently now that I am offering a free look at websites and social media accounts along with a custom report of how to improve them.) A lot of the time, after reviewing the account, there are glaring ways to improve it. Using a
Facebook personal profile as a business page – this is still a no-no but people still do it. I am very happy to build relationships and give out free advice. I send an email to the inquirer indicating how they could improve their account and 9 times out of 10, I never hear back from them. Yes, I follow up on the interaction by checking if they made any of the suggested changes, (most of the time, they haven’t), and a second contact offering suggestions goes unanswered. I’m thinking they don’t respond because they are afraid that I am trying to sell them something – (I am but, hey, we all know our budgets and I respect that), or they really aren’t serious about using the platform. Remember, creating social media accounts for your business is a public face of your business. If these accounts break basic rules that doesn’t look good for your business as a whole. Search out tutorials for the network you want to join. Each one provides this section and you can find great step-by-step instructions on YouTube.com.
Please comment and let’s start a conversation!