Today I want to talk briefly about your social media life. Well, your brands social media life. Most experts contend that you are doing your brand a disservice by not embracing the social media world fully. They will talk about multiple touch points and active and passive engagement. Indeed, it is true that you need to be available and accessible via social media. Geo-locating is also crucial for most retailers in this new world. A new study by JiWire that we referenced yesterday in the post Your Mom Buys More Online Than You, clearly shows that the majority of consumers research and find information about your products online. They study reviews and price compare, they geo-locate to find the nearest retailer and increasingly they buy online. But there is a problem with this.
When you build social media channels for your business, you are creating rooms for consumers to experience your products and services. Those virtual rooms must be branded, updated, staffed and managed. Just as you would not open a retail store and then ignore it for months, you must actively engage and manage your virtual store. A brand management plan must be created. Staff must be trained and customers responded to. ROI must be assessed. Investments must be made. That is where we get to the curated part.
I am not saying that any business should abandon a channel in social media. However, depending upon budget and ability you may have to consider converting some social media channels to sign posts. Feeder areas that direct people to an actively managed "room" where they can gain the contact and brand experience you want them to have. That does not mean that you still shouldn't actively monitor all of your social media channels. After all, you don't control your social media rooms fully. Others have the ability to influence for you. For effectively monitoring your online reputation and activity we have been excited to explore Datasift, a real-time data feed monitor.
Finally, curating what you convey to your customers is vital. Mark Twain was once credited with saying "I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." Just as in Mr. Twain's time, curating your message takes time and is hard work, but it is more valuable than ever. Clear and on-brand messaging will set you apart from the cluttered world of social media. Create a curated and managed social media life, align that with a curated offline presence that matches and then run both as you would a great retail store and you will be on the way to success.