Keeping Fridays simple is essential as your brain has hit weekend mode. What is more simplistic then social media…….or is it??? It seems like such a simple media, but when you actually sit back and think about it, it really is complex and deserves a lot of attention. If you actually to properly engage with your audience you must understand what drives them to want to become engaged – that’s not exactly as easy as getting water out of a water cooler per say.
Now that social media has taken over we have seen marketing departments and DMOs begin hiring New Media Managers. Print is being cut back or even out of the mix because we can post and tweet for free. Some are engaging in social media well and some are, well, doing it. There is no one size fits all answer to conquering social media, but there are generic things everyone should be doing, so here are five things you should be doing on social media… but aren’t:
1. Using LinkedIn… while LinkedIn’s 225 million users pales in comparison to Facebook’s 900 million, LinkedIn is still nothing to push aside. Most conference sessions tend to discuss Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for attracting the leisure visitor but LinkedIn can be valuable at attracting conferences and meetings. Professionals on LinkedIn tend to connect quicker than those on Facebook so you’re able to grow your network quicker.
How do you use it? Post. Your office probably has a company LinkedIn page but do you ever post? If you are a DMO, post new features or the TripAdvisor rankings of your convention center or a new hotel. Sales person has a new certification? An attractions’ new exhibits, etc..
Engage… comment on posts so meeting planners keep seeing Joe Gesortenflort, VisitAnywhereville. Join groups and again, comment on posts. When you finally call that meeting professional, they’ll be familiar having seen your name numerous times.
If you have significant news, personal message your connections. We’re focusing on Facebook and not using LinkedIn. Try it.
2. Monitoring… what are meeting planners and visitors saying about your destination? Here’s an idea – create a dummy account on Facebook. Like the association pages. Then monitor the dialogue. ”Oh crap! We’re going back to Anywhereville!? The 2010 conference sucked!” Engage your PR department and manage a poor perception. See what the meeting planners are posting about working with caterers, convention centers, or, gasp – your staff! Social media allows us the opportunity to hear the chatter! Like I have said before it is the “Virtual Word of Mouth”
3. Prospecting… Just went on Twitter. Typed in “Oklahoma Conference” and before the song on the radio ended, I identified 15 conferences that someone could target. ”Association”, “Convention”, “Summit”, “Conclave”, prospect other states business… search LinkedIn too.
4. Engaging… Social media is not a ‘to-do’ each day. ”Posted on Facebook. Next task.” Never to look at Facebook again until the next day when you post again. (Or worse, you use Hootsuite and schedule all of your posts for the week and never look at Facebook.) If your posts are truly engaging, people are commenting and asking questions. They’re posting on your wall and sending personal messages. All which needs to be responded to in a timely manner.
5. Monitoring (2)… especially on weekends. An office posted about a parade one Saturday morning. A prospective attendee inquired about the time. The account wasn’t being monitored and thus, wasn’t seen until Monday morning.
Social media isn’t easy. But it isn’t overbearing either. These are but five things you should be doing on social media but aren’t.