Getting Your Hands Dirty - Heather Robertson | Internet Marketer - Content Strategist

Getting Your Hands Dirty in Social Media

In a poll conducted by OurCreativeWorks, readers were asked to ‘weigh in’  on what they felt was the best piece of advice an SMB owner needed to grow their business. There were only 5 possible answers – all related to marketing.

Interestingly enough, what SMB’s felt they needed most after a marketing strategy, was engaging in some form of social media. OurCreativeWorks didn’t provide any polling stats (number of respondents etc) which struck me as a bit odd, but the survey did emphasize the importance of social media in a business marketing tool box.

Certainly the literature clearly points to the necessity of social media. In my opinion, what’s missing are the ‘stories’ that help illustrate the successes.

Image Courtesy of
Image Courtesy of

Facebook Isn’t For Everyone –
Don’t Try and Fit a Square Peg into a Round Hole

Since I’ve been dabbling in social media, I’ve run into very few businesses that I didn’t think suited Facebook. Two examples come to mind – a denturist and hair loss replacement.

However, the denturist totally surprised me. He has an active Facebook page that doesn’t talk about dentures – at least not that much. His page regularly sports great tidbits of content from community news to the weather to feel good pictures. What’s interesting is watching the brand and the customer loyalty blossom without ever discussing dentures or replacing teeth.

The hair loss replacement company seemed to share my view as they invested their energies into an excellent blog site. Embedded in their current site (which is lacking in content) the blog site (hosted by an outside agency) is content rich including videos, a twitter feed and plenty of back links to the original site.

Lesson Learned?  You might need to test a number of social media channels to find the right fit. Listen to your gut. The professional pundits might have their ‘prescribed methods’ of doing things, but your idea may be better. Who knows you may be forging a new path.

Don’t Worry Be Happy –And I Mean It 

When I first started reading social media posts and articles that said ‘being happy’ was an important part of being a good social media community manager, I questioned it.  However, I have since changed my tune.

A manufacturer and distributor for hardware accessories were struggling on Facebook though the page was experiencing a reasonable number of likes and some engagement.  Two years ago they even ran a contest with good results and even better engagement.  But the company wasn’t happy with their social media value-proposition.

This winter however, they shifted their efforts to Pinterest – and they are happy. And the company’s happiness and engagement with Pinterest seems to be equal to the success they are experiencing. They haven’t abandoned Facebook or Twitter, they are  just using them differently.

Lessons Learned? Relax and be happy. Social media isn’t just supposed to be fun – it is.

Step Outside the Norm

There are some very interesting things happening on social media because of serendipity.

A Toronto Crane Operator @SkyJacked793 inspired by Chris Hadfield’s photos from outer space has a started his own Twitter account posting photos of Toronto’s  – from his crane.  He has 3700 followers, was interviewed by CBC’s Matt Galloway and had this article in The Toronto Star. I’m not sure that there is an agency around that could have orchestrated all that PR.

In another CBC report from the Far North, speaking about how reindeer herds were replacing Caribou for meat, the person being interviewed casually commented that they were experiencing a lot of sales through Facebook, referrung to it as “a dandy tool”.

Lessons Learned? Success sometimes is just plain serendipity. Some things are just worth a try.

Marketing Strategy? Communications Calendar? Yes, they are important. But in order to reap the benefits of social media sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty.

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