This article is supported by Dell.
Sixteen days before New York City’s Fashion Night Out, an evening where stores open their doors with free champagne, give-a-ways, and celebrity appearances, Ken Carson, Barbie’s famous plastic boyfriend, introduced himself to the social media scene.
His first wall post explained, “Just joined Facebook and Twitter after months of Barbie insisting I sign up (I think she wants to keep tabs on me since we’re single).” He announced in status updates that he would be attending fashion night out and encouraged fans to meet him at various hot spots.
On Fashion Night Out, Ken used Foursquare to check into various locations. He also tweeted his schedule for the night and documented his observations on Facebook. Soon, 1,837 Twitter followers and 5,534 Facebook fans followed his every move, both on the web and in public. Mattel should be applauded for this PR stunt.
Social Media gives companies the opportunity to reach out directly to customers, advertise new products, create buzz around existing ones, and ask loyal audiences for feedback. But very few companies use these tools to their greatest capacity. Here are a few tips:
- Interact with customers. Ask your customers to do something: respond to a question, participate in a quiz or game, enter a contest. The internet is all about interaction; people do not just want to read information.
- Use more than one social media site. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and others all do different things. The more platforms you engage with customers on, the better chance you have of delivering your message.
- Be creative. Any company can create a Facebook page, but to get noticed, you must go above and beyond. Think of a stunt that will get people talking. This can be anything from a funny YouTube video to a harmless prank.
- Propel the word of mouth operation. When costumers come to your store or sign up for your service, tell them about your social media sites and ask them to sign up. Then ask them to tell their friends and family; you can even reward them for signing up friends with discounts, loyalty points, etc.
- Don’t just use social media to use it. Social media should be used for a purpose: to advertise, ask for feedback, reward customers with points, and more. Having a profile that does not do anything is futile and possibly harmful. You don’t want to seem stagnant.
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