Tweeting – Best Practices
Twitter is one of the top social media sites used by businesses today, and has become a necessity for keeping up with competitors throughout a number of industries. Mark Schaefer, the author of The Tao of Twitter, lists the following as some of the best practices in relation to social media via Twitter:
- Use Twitter search and other listening tools to monitor actual, real time conversations about your brand. Address consumer problems, product issues, and other brand-damaging conversations quickly.
- Allow Twitter to be a customer service resource. If consumers find it easier to reach you via social media rather than phone or in-store, then be willing and able to accommodate this.
- Use links and headlines that can drive traffic to your website and other social media channels. Integrating your website with social media is essential because this is where business transactions are conducted.
- Break through communication barriers with tweets. Try using Twitter for reaching out to make a business connection instead of through calls and emails (which are often ignored).
- Run special deals and promotions on Twitter, available to only those following your brand.
- Find new business contacts and sales leads through directories such as Twellow and the advanced Twitter search.
- Follow current and potential customers. You can learn a lot about your target market and what they like, which will help in evaluating how to best connect with them.
- Consistent, personal engagement. Use a timing tool to send out pre-written tweets at various times during the day. Reply to as many comments as possible, both positive and negative.
The beauty and cosmetics industry certainly uses these best practices for Twitter. Clinique (@Clinique) beauty and cosmetic brand recently tweeted the following: “Enter for a chance to #win a $500 #Clinique eGift Card*! Write a review at http://clinique.com to enter: http://expi.co/08uGe”. This is an excellent demonstration of how to successfully offer a promotional contest to their followers, while simultaneously connecting them directly to their company website.
Blogging – Best Practices
The unbiased nature and relatable personalities of popular beauty bloggers have proven to be very influential on consumers purchasing decisions. With thousands of independent beauty bloggers on social media, it has become a smart practice for companies in the beauty and cosmetics industry to team up and try to collaborate with those who are most influential. There are right and wrong ways for a company to approach beauty bloggers in an attempt at working with them:
- Refer to the blogger by their name
- Offer out some free sample products from your brand
- Be upfront about deadlines (bloggers typically have other unrelated related full-time jobs)
- Mass send a generic, scripted email
- Forget to do your research before contacting a blogger – become familiar with their style and content
- Harass bloggers with multiple emails or contact attempts
One company who has done blogger-business collaboration right is MAC. MAC Cosmetics Company flew nine bloggers out to their Toronto production lab, in order to get their help in developing a line of custom cosmetics. This not only benefits MAC in that they get direct input from real consumers as to what they want in a product, but it also allowed them a chance to be transparent and relatable. This is what social media is essentially trying to achieve between businesses and consumers. The bloggers subsequently praised MAC throughout their blogs, documenting their firsthand experience working alongside the brand.
Do you follow your favorite brands on Twitter? Have you ever entered a contest or promotion via Twitter or another social media application? If so, what was your experience? Please share your comments and experiences.