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FEBRUARY 2014 issue of
Rental Management

Party Perfect: Interacting with customers via social media
01/31/2014

 

It is no surprise the way we interact with customers today has changed. We have opportunities like never before to connect and share stories with clients. Ten years ago, “to like” had a different meaning and tweeting was for the birds. We are bombarded with information from every angle in our fast-paced world, but we also can be a part of the conversation through social media.

Our industry is all about creating relationships with businesses and clients. Through weddings, corporate functions or a University of Wisconsin Badger tailgate event, social media has come so far that people are actively incorporating it into their events. This is especially true with the younger generation. If a brand doesn’t have a strong website, Facebook page or isn’t represented in other social media, they are likely to choose a competitor. Event Essentials, as a company, has found social media to be a huge opportunity. We have active accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Facebook is one of the easiest ways to promote your brand. Facebook is the most popular social media site on the planet with more than a billion users. Event Essentials uses Facebook on a daily basis to post about past events, future events and things happening within our company. Facebook also is a great resource to promote any specials on rentals. We have several employees on our sales team who are page administrators to help with the postings, so our content is fresh and relevant to what is happening in our area. Here are a few pointers on when to post and what sort of content to use when posting:

n When to post. The best time to post on Facebook is when your audience will see it. This is going to be unique to you and your business. Determine who your audience is and when they are using Facebook. Also, keep in mind, the average life of a Facebook post is three hours. Many people check their phones first thing in the morning and late at night. Also, think about when you use Facebook and test different times with your audience.

n What kind of content. Don’t only sell products on social media. Talk about you, your company and, most importantly, build your brand. Give people in your organization access to the page. The more “insider info” you can post, the better. The best types of content include photos, links, shared content from other business, event setups, staff news, live event updates and birthdays,

Everyone likes to brag a little bit about their event. Social media gives them the perfect opportunity to share their photos, experiences and talk about your company. Think about what distinguishes your company from your competitors and then post about it. Generating content for Facebook or other social media sites is easy if you look internally for stories.

Twitter is another great way to connect with clients. It has a 140-character limit and is great for short bursts of information. Twitter has a much faster turnover than Facebook, with most posts only lasting two to three minutes without having to scroll further down your Twitter feed. The nice feature with Twitter and Facebook is you can link the two accounts. Whatever you post on Twitter will post on your Facebook page and vice versa. When and what should you post on Twitter? I would follow the same rules for your Facebook page, keeping in mind that the two accounts can be linked together.

Social media is a great tool to promote your business, but there also is content you should avoid. While it’s important to give people within your company access, be careful and impose guidelines to avoid rogue posts.

Avoid 100 percent sales content. Instead, use these sites to your advantage to tell a story, not just sell a product. Interact with your customers and make them feel like they are a part of your company. Avoid political and worldly issues that we see all over the news. Don’t turn your page into another news feed. Other topics to avoid also would be personal issues and foul language.

While most of us are familiar with Facebook and Twitter there is a widely popular, relatively new social media page taking the world by storm: Pinterest. Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site today. Think of it as a virtual bulletin board. It is a visual social network where people “pin” photos of things they like to their boards. Pinterest is another great way to expose your company by sharing photos and linking those photos to drive more traffic to your website. By creating a Pinterest page, you can reach its network of users by sharing photos of your events or products, and creating a story about your business.

Social media allows your brand to be a storyteller and each different site gives you a unique way to share. Whether you post, tweet or pin, expressing your brand will allow you to connect with current and future customers on a personal level. Social media allows you to enhance relationships with your clients like never before. We can only imagine what comes next.

Robert Copley is an account manager at Event Essentials, Windsor, Wis. He can be reached at 608-846-5004 or email robert@eventessentials.com.
 

 

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