New social media websites and ideas are popping up daily, so it’s important to discern which ones best fit your business goals. With large chains, especially, it becomes harder to streamline your social media, creating a consistent message to your clients; it can certainly seem like an overwhelming process albeit a necessary one. Although these sites all seem to have the potential to grow your business, understanding that being a part of a few core ones will get the job done while keeping you on trend is crucial, according to Danielle Wiley, Senior Vice President for Edelman Digital, who presented at the VIBE Conference in Las Vegas. Her “Social Media Served Straight Up” presentation delivered a number of quick ideas to get you on your way to a strong social media presence:
- Use websites that keep you organized by helping you keep track of topics important to your business. TweetDeck helps you categorize users, themes or @replies into specific columns so you know what’s going on, who you need to respond to and what your competition is doing. Listorious, she said, is also one of the best Twitter people searches on the web that allows you to find anyone by topic, region or profession.
- Engage your audience. Create a tone that works and, remember, always respond to your fans.
- Follow the Trends. Though Foursquare is relatively new to the market, it’s catching on. It allows consumers to “check in” to your establishment and earn rewards.
- Try apps like Beerby,which allows users to find good beer near their current location (like your bar or restaurant) and tracks the beers they are are drinking.
- A new concept that can help build promotions and marketing is a site called Stickybits; the free app allows users to scan barcodes using their smartphones and receive promotions and deals on certain products.
- Groupon and Living Social are two websites that can drive new business to your bar or restaurant. They’re great to be a part of, but they don’t establish loyalty — make sure you get new customers to return by giving them good service and great options.
- Use Pandora. The music-streaming website allows you to create your own playlist, so create one that reflects your brand. This way you’ll have your consumers’ eyes and their ears.
- Remember to blog. A few quick lines on your website about the specials you’re offering, upcoming events or a fun anecdote will keep customers engaged and informed about what’s interesting. This builds relationships with your customers and correlates nicely with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Don’t discount how Live Chats with customers will help you create a better business.