Social media etiquette 101

social media, content, twitter, blog

Do you have a small business and want to connect with customers on social media, but don’t know what to say?

Social media content – whether it’s a blog, tweet or video – doesn’t have to be complicated.

Simply think of it as a conversation. When you speak with customers, do you get tongue-tied? The answer is probably no.

But if you need some conversation starters, consider these questions.

What do you want your target audiences to know?

  • What you have to offer
  • Highlights of your products and services
  • Helpful information related to your field of expertise

What do you want to know about customers?

  • Interests
  • Likes, dislikes
  • How you can help them, whether it’s through providing better customer service, better products or valuable tips.

And, as you’re creating these conversations, visualize yourself throwing a cocktail party.

As a good host, you wouldn’t dominate the discussion 100 percent of the time, would you? No, you’d be considerate of your guests, discussing your viewpoint and then listening to theirs.

And you certainly wouldn’t talk only about yourself and your business. That’s a mistake you can’t afford on social media. People won’t tolerate shameless self-promotion because they can find more interesting content in a nanosecond. It’s not like the ‘60s era of “Mad Men,” when there were only three TV networks and no DVRs to help consumers to speed through commercials.

Consistency also is important. You can’t expect to churn out brilliant blogs two days in a row and then forget about posting for two months. It’s the equivalent of running up to a guest, speaking non-stop for 10 minutes, then going mute for the rest of the party.

If you’re going to succeed at social media, you have to make a commitment to show up on a regular basis, whether it’s a monthly blog on LinkedIn or three posts daily on Twitter.

But making a commitment doesn’t mean that you should be deadly serious all the time. Some of the most successful brands engage consumers with humor.

So get out there and be creative! Just remember the three C’s – conversation, consideration and consistency.

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PR Tip

How to Craft a Successful TV pitch

Always remember that, when pitching the media, it’s important to consider what they want.

And what does TV news want most of all? Visuals, and lots of them.

Today’s audiences like action, and lots of it. With the advent of social media, attention spans are dwindling by the second. In order to grab and keep viewers, you have to keep offering information that is interesting and relevant.

No media outlet wants to air a static interview where you see only talking heads. Think about B-roll, background video that you can provide to help illustrate your story. Consider using statistics to create a graphic. Offer before and after photos, provide logos of your business, write bullet points that can be superimposed, or “supered,” onscreen, give them your web address, etc.

Most important, remember it’s not all about what you want. To successfully pitch a topic, consider what audiences want, and you’ll likely get the chance to tell your story.

What Sue’s Clients Say

Sue has an extraordinary ability to connect with the media. She is gifted at finding angles that appeal to news directors and reporters and is meticulous in preparing her guests for interviews. Sue worked with Stillwaters Cancer Support Services to promote our annual Hospital Food Fight fundraiser. Not only did she secure a slot for us on The Morning Blend, our target audience, but she walked us through every aspect of the interview.

Immediately after the show aired, registrations and calls were coming in. We got rave reviews for our interview skills on the show, and it was all because of Sue’s expert coaching. She also helped promote the interview and the event via social media. I can’t recommend her highly enough - her media connections, media training, writing and editing are stellar.

Theresa Reagan, Executive Director, Stillwaters Cancer Support Services, Waukesha, Wis.