One of the things that I see regularly online is how people assume social media is something that is simply a quick “add-on” to their marketing strategy. It’s something people work on maybe once a day, for about 10 minutes, and then go back to whatever it is they are originally paid to do. In real life, people talk, interact, and try to get to know each other – and in a world where we spend more and more time online, the need to connect is exponentially growing.
A lot of companies (and adult nightclubs) are definitely doing the social media “thing,” but they’re making it almost an afterthought. They’re delegating employees they already have, and asking them to add social media to their list of things to do during their workday. The problem with that is either:
• You get employees who you hired to handle a specific set of tasks, who may not know all the ins and outs of your company — at least not enough to speak on the company’s behalf, and/or
• You get employees who are going to put their participation on a social network on the bottom of their priority list – or worse, the top of their priority list, if you initially hired them to do something else but they’re easily distracted.
As a result, you’re probably only going to get one or two random, uninspired posts on a social network, and the posts aren’t going to be friendly, warm, inviting, or even educational or informative.
Their primary focus (and the reason you hired them) probably wasn’t to promote your brand, it was to perform a set of specific tasks for which they interviewed and subsequently were hired for. So, if they’re supposed to be working as your DJ, VIP host/hostess or manager, why are you putting them in charge of your brand message?
And what happens when, on the other hand, you decide to delegate social media marketing to multiple already-hired employees? At first glance, it may seem like a good idea to have 10 people handling social media for your brand. But if you’re not supervising what’s being said, monitoring conversations and managing the direction of how the brand is being promoted, you’re going to end up with something that might just be noise.
Why even bother with social media marketing if you’re not working on your brand the way it’s supposed to be done? Social networking is like being in a romantic relationship. You have to get to know your audience/followers/friends. You have to open up to them, invite them into your world, and ask how their world is as well.
Once you’ve established a connection and have their trust, then you can take things to the next level. Don’t bash them over the head with a stick and demand they go on a date with you. You know, consent and all that. And you must add value to the interactions you offer.
So, stop treating your social media strategy with a caveman mentality. Don’t be a Tarzan—be more like, say, a love interest from a romance novel. Get the audience interested in you, get interested in them, sweep them off their feet with your charm and warmth, and you’ll find your customer base will actually stay engaged when you ask them to invest their time and energy on your product.
If you do decide to utilize the people you already have in your employ to be your social media representative(s), make sure they know what you’re trying to achieve and what you’re hoping to gain on a weekly or monthly basis — and make sure you get regular reports from them as to what the follower/friend base is saying to them as well. It’s a key way (and free!) to make your product better, an unpaid testing panel that is more than happy to tell you what’s missing, what could be better, etc.
Another option if you don’t want to hire an outside social media marketing firm or community manager, is to hire someone to come in as a consultant and train your in-house social media person (or team). Many companies have a regular consultant who comes in once every quarter for a couple of hours’ worth of assessment and advice/coaching, who works with a company owner or director of sales/marketing.
Be part of the romance of social media marketing. Help them fall for you—and they’ll follow you wherever you go.
Kelly Shibari is CEO of ThePRSMGroup, a PR and Social Media Marketing firm specializing in the adult industry. A multiple award-winning adult performer who has crossed over into mainstream entertainment and marketing, Kelly has parlayed her adult consumer fan base, experience, and network in the industry, representing clients in the entertainment, sexuality, and novelty fields with a full range of marketing communications needs, from messaging to media relations, content creation, and more. For more information, visit http://ThePRSMGroup.com, http://Twitter.com/KellyShibari, and http://Facebook.com/KellyShibari.