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Any of my friends and colleagues and those who have attended my Social Media lectures will know that I first got into Social Media marketing due to my involvement in Music PR and marketing. In fact, my first Social Media campaign (or Nu-Marketing as it was known then) was for a band competition, which I was promoting on MySpace and Bebo. I became deeper involved in Digital Marketing when I took over the Digital Marketing for the Frank and Walters which I must credit as an invaluable learning experience.

Having the freedom to test new social media strategies and platforms has been a huge asset to me in being able to advise clients and lecture in social media so I thought I’d share a few lessons here.

1)   Add a personal touch

We know Social Media is not a traditional marketing or broadcasting channel to churn out offers. Social Media is a conversation tool which allows us to personally talk to our fans.

On Facebook this means answering your fans questions by tagging them in your replies (this has been made much easier with the new Facebook reply function!) This offers a much more personalized touch and this fan will get a notification that their question has been answered. Facebook will usually suggest the persons name and allow the page admin to select the user. I tend to click on the fan’s name and delete their surname so the answer is delivered with “Hi Tim, thanks for getting in touch”. This reply feels less automated and more personalized which usually pays dividends in turning a fan with a query into an ambassador for the brand if left satisfied.

Screen shot of the Frank and Walters answering questions on Facebook by tagging Fan's names

Frank and Walters answering questions on Facebook by tagging Fan’s names

On Twitter, it goes without saying that you need to respond to your followers’ tweets when they include your handle in a tweet. However, you can go one step further by addressing tweets which you are mentioned in by listening out for keywords. This proactive Twitter strategy can lead to increased followers and retweets and at the very least can give a potential tweep a nice surprise!

Frank and Walters say thanks in a tweet

A Frank’s Fan gets a Tweet Surprise

2)   Crowdsourcing doesn’t need to be complicated

Crowdsourcing is a fantastic way of recognizing your fans’ and followers’ comments and using their input to inform your products or social media content.  But along the way the notion of crowdsourcing became a little convoluted and intimidating! From speaking to attendees at the DMI classes some thought to crowdsource you needed to build an expensive microsite to collect fan comments or a Facebook application to capture data. Obviously if you have a nice budget these are great but if you are an SME typically these options are not available. Instead, a simple status update informing the community of what other fans have been looking for is a nice way of recognizing their input. The Frank and Walters crowdsourced Blog content by asking fans to send in question to Ashley Keating in a funny segment called Ask Ash.

Image to accompany the Frank and Walters Ask Ash Blog

Ask Ash: The Frank and Walters asked fans to send in questions which were answered in their blog

These simple crowdsourcing techniques include fans in the page’s social media content reminding them that their input matters.

3)   Creating Value: Give your fans a present!

Sometimes businesses need to be reminded that Facebook is a Social Network where people want to connect and share their time and info with friends and family. So if businesses want to play in this space they need to remind their fans why they became fans in the first place.

Add something to your fans Facebook experience:

  • Make them laugh with some funny content
  • Teach them something new with some quick nuggets of information
  • Offer them a discount that is available only to Facebook fans or Twitter followers
  • Give them a present of a free download
screenshot of the Frank and Walters Facebook page offering a free download

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary tour of Trains Boats and Planes the Franks asked fan what songs they would like as a free download

These content additions give fans and followers “a reason to believe”.  And as I noted in a previous blog, by creating valuable and shareable content, you earn a place in your fans’ newsfeeds leading to essential organic growth.

Well I hope these musical lessons were of some use to you and your Social Media strategies! And if you’re a fan of the Franks you can keep up to date with their Blog, Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter at @FrankandWs.

I’d love to hear your comments or answer any questions in the section below.