[social_buttons]I’ve been spending a lot of time these days working with clients interested in establishing a presence in social media. If you’re not considering doing that for your business, you might heed the words of Wayne Kurtzman from Media Bullseye.
Companies who miss the importance of the social media ship may actually risk the same fate as companies who thought the Internet was a fad. That sounds extreme, but over half the nation is already on a social network. They upload photos and videos or share shopping reviews. Customers are changing how they want companies to interact with them. The more that happens, the more companies will be left in the dust.
Since many if not most companies only have a hazy idea of how social media works and why in the world they should jump into the fray, some are slow to take the plunge. This is perhaps less true of new and old media companies. You can find Ecopreneurist and Green Options on Twitter, along with the New York Times, CNN and The BBC.
Besides Twitter, there are of course a whole host of ways to reach out to your customers and engage them on a one-to-one basis. There is Facebook and Myspace as well as a fast growing selection of newer sites. There are blogs and blogger networks, as well as, shopping social networking sites. There are community forums for a variety of topics and there are media sharing sites like Flickr and Youtube.
All of these should be considered for a social media campaign, but not all should be used. Why? This depends a lot on the company and product.
For example, as a social media marketing consultant, I focus on green products and on women’s products. I know the Mommy and female blogger and The Mommy and female social media market. I know the green market. What tools they use and where one can find green consumers. I recommend tools that make sense for my clients. Not all of the tools that Liz Strauss or Jeff Pulver suggest do that, though I follow and admire them both, but they often serve different markets.
One thing on which we all agree, though is Twitter. Though less than 2 years old, Twitter is rapidly becoming the go to place for both questions and answers. Have a question on organic food? Direct message @WholeFoods, an early and excellent user of social media. Follow Seventh Generation and find updates answers on a variety of green topics.
Outside the green realm, companies are finding that Twitter, enhances their customer service operations, increases their visibility and most certainly makes them aware when a crisis is brewing. Those of you who followed the #Motrin Moms story know that McNeil Consumer Healthcare wasn’t paying quite enough attention when a writer on our sister blog, Eco Child’s Play, stated her outrage about their ad on twitter and created a groundswell.
At minimum, being on Twitter and following Tweople, (Twitter users) interested in green products, keeps you up to date on your customers interests, like an on-going focus group of sorts. It keeps you aware of when trouble is brewing and it gives you a way to communicate sales, promos and new products to your consumers.
Developing and maintaining the right Twitter presence for your company isn’t always easy, but it is easy to get started. The green Twittersphere is large and growing. Green media, green consumers and green companies are rapidly becoming a force on this social media site. Take some time to do it right though. Sign up with Twitter. Follow some green Tweople…and don’t forget me, @mcmilker . Tweet you later!
Some lists of green Tweople and Twitter Feeds
Must Follow Green Twitter Feeds
Best Green Twitter Feeds
Update: check out Our Post on Green Moms and Dads on Twitter at EcoChild’sPlay