5 Ways to Make Money Using Social Media
Twitter. Facebook. Delicious. These are all examples of social media, and I bet as soon as you hear these words, you can add at least another three sites to the list off the top of your head. But what is social media?
Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn’t allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content.
This are five ways in which one can use the social media..
1. Share Everything:
Now that you know, you’re chiming in on related conversations, you’re thinking outside the box, and doing your homework, it’s the right time to start talking about what you’re doing on your blog (try WordPress), on Twitter, at conferences and events, and anywhere else that makes sense.
The point of sharing everything is to make your customers, clients, partners, friends, and even competitors aware that you’re always accessible, that you’re learning from your mistakes, that you want to involve and encourage community participation, and that you’re doing all this with the same enthusiasm and passion that motivated you to start your business in the first place.
2. Get creative:
Once you have the basics covered, you can start experimenting with outside the box customer service ideas. Since the point is to connect with customers, your social media customer service strategy should be a natural extension of your business, so feel free to get innovative but just do so in ways that make sense for your business.
To get creative, take inspiration from the best and make the ideas your own. A number of big brands like Southwest, Jet Blue, Zappos, Starbucks, and Ford have turned to Twitter for offering impressive customer service and providing
Twitter-only deals. Watch what they’re doing if you need ideas, what you’ll notice about each big business doing it right is that they aren’t afraid to take risks.
3. 1. Always Be in the Know:
Ask any community, social media, or branding expert what you should do first, and every single one of them will tell you to listen. It may sound clich?Ã¯Â¿Â½, but the reality is that you need to understand the landscape of the space you’re contributing to before you do anything else.
So, for a customer service strategy that leverages social media, the first thing you can and should do is set up a tracking and listening system that works for your business and hinges around mentions of your product, services, and those of your competitors.
Given that Twitter is just one of many places for mass social expression, you can’t rely just on Twitter search services to do your work for you, though it definitely can help. You can grab the RSS feed for your favorite search queries from Twitter Search, or install TweetDeck, a Twitter desktop client, to keep an ever present eye on Twitter’s always updating stream. Even if you’re averse to tweeting, you should set up a few columns with custom search queries and filters for everything involving your business. You’ll receive automatic notices every time there are new tweets that match your results
This is the simplest method of customer service that’s often under utilized. Now that you’re using tools to stay in the know, you should invest time in using that information to put out customer service fires and address business related matters. This isn’t a blanket invitation to tweet your marketing material or trash a competitor in blog comments to make your business look better. The vocal contributions you make on behalf of your business should always be informative and helpful otherwise they appear spammy and will ultimately make your company look bad.
Simple, honest, and straightforward responses on social platforms like Twitter, FriendFeed, and blogs is always the right way to go, especially if you’re responding to something negative about your company or your product. Make it clear that you’re open to helping, make your contact information available, and always be genuine.
5. Do Your Research:
When your customers are your clients and you have sales or lead driven business, stellar customer service goes hand-in-hand with how much you know about each client and their individual needs. Thankfully, you can harness the social web for timely information that can keep you educated about your clients, their companies, and all related news items.
For this purpose, take a look at Gist, a free web-based tool in private beta for power networkers. Essentially the site combines your email communications, your Outlook calendar, and your Facebook and LinkedIn connections to give you a view of your contacts like no other. Each contact and each company has its own profile-like view within Gist that includes contact info, news mentions, email exchanges, and other related data so sales and marketing types can effortlessly research leads and existing clients to better cement important relationships.