This is a guest post from Erica Brown
Companies from mom and pops to multinational corporations are diving into, or at the very least, dipping a toe into the pool of social media. From Facebook to Twitter, businesses are listening to their customers and joining the conversation. So who’s doing it well? Who’s doing it not so well? And who is a case study in what not to do? Here’s a quick look at an example of each, in Salt Lake, from one girl’s point of view.
Why: Personality without losing sight of product.
One of the challenges of using social media in business is balancing the conversational nature of the medium with the need to discuss products and services. Coffee Connection has created a unique solution: allowing their baristas to shine. During each barista’s shift, he or she tweets the drinks they specialize in, thanks regular customers, and mentions specials or unique reasons to visit. It’s a creative solution that helps customers get to know the culture and offerings of a local coffee shop.
Utah Olympic Oval
Why: Abandoning a Twitter account.
Seven months and counting since the Utah Olympic Oval’s last Twitter update. The last update? Not very engaging. You see it more than you should: companies who master Facebook, but ignore their Twitter accounts. Another choice is to automate a Twitter feed to avoid the time it takes to build a Twitter network and original content. Like most quick and easy solutions, with automation, you often get what you put into it. In other words, not a whole lot. You may end up with a lot of followers, but odds are they are not listening to you.
Why: No relevant content used to drive traffic to another profile/business.
In a word: awkward. This Twitter profile has accumulated over 800 followers, but has yet to provide a single update in any way related to its stated content (coupons for Utah). It’s an extreme illustration of a sketchy practice to be avoided at all costs. And does it work? Judging by the last post over six months ago, it doesn’t look to be worthwhile.
So what do these three companies have in common? All three of these organizations have a business interest in building a network to talk to. The lesson we can learn from this is that your social media is a three sliced pie: one slice is the audience you’re building, one slice is the relevancy of the content you’re providing, and the last slice is the timeliness and presentation of the information. When all three elements are working, they combine to create a holistic communication strategy that will help you build relationships and future customers.
Erica Brown is the Director of Communications at Thanksgiving Point Institute and the Promotional Chair of the Social Media Club of Salt Lake City. Follow her on Twitter @bossybootsbrownor connect on LinkedIn