Five Tips to Reshape your Social Media Plan in 2013


[This is an article I wrote for my book, Face2Face – I thought it would make a great post here, too – enjoy! DLK]

Social media has been around for over ten years. My guess is that by now, your organization is probably involved in some way with social media. Maybe you have created a Twitter or Facebook account. Maybe you even have some friends and fans on those accounts, and you share things with them when you have time.

Let’s rework this in 2013. Social media is now mainstream, and your customers are using it to connect. They connect easily to each other, and since the tool is the same, they’ll find it easy to connect to your organization, too… if you make a few easy-to-do adjustments in your approach to business-facing social media.

Here are five simple adjustments you can make to kick-start your organization’s social media efforts in 2013:

1. Focus on Conversations

First off, let’s focus on conversations. Many organizations and businesses have been using social media status updates as a broadcasting tool. They send out notices of events, sales, or coupons. Possibly, they have used social media as an easy outlet to send out press releases and important corporate announcements.

My new book - Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer ConnectionsGuess what? If your organization focuses primarily on sending out corporate communications, your customers will tune out your organization and unfriend you in a heartbeat. In 2013, instead of using social media as a one-way broadcast tool, work on starting and continuing conversations with your customers.

This will require your organization to do three important things: 1. Listen before you speak. Set up some listening tools (Google alerts and Twitter search alerts are good places to start) to see what your customers are saying about you; 2. Respond, using colloquial, conversational language. This will feel weird if you’re used to more formal marketing-speak. Make it feel like you’re talking to a work colleague at the water cooler – do this, and people will start talking to you. And 3 – figure out what types of conversations YOU want to start. Do some brainstorming on the conversations your organization needs to hear in 2013, and start those conversations.

2. Focus on the Visual

For the most part, many businesses and organizations have been posting text-heavy status updates in their social media accounts. That makes sense in text-based Twitter, but not so much in Facebook. In fact, Facebook best practices show that when you do one simple thing – add a photo or a video to your post – engagement increases by 100% or more.

So get those cameras out of your pockets (yes, that iPhone or Android smartphone makes a great point-and-shoot camera), and start taking photos around the office, the warehouse, or the store. Maybe think about the three most important things that your customers should know about your organization, take photos of that, then share those photos with customers.

3. Focus on Video

That smartphone I just mentioned in #2 is also HD quality video recorder, and we can put it to good use! There’s a reason YouTube is so popular right now – people love watching short videos. Studies show that people engage more with video posts than with text-only posts.

Here’s my guess – most likely, you haven’t made many videos for your organization. If you have created some videos, it probably resembled a TV commercial. That’s not what your customers want to watch. Instead, get to the point immediately – YouTube suggests that the first 15 seconds are critical to connect with viewers. So don’t waste those seconds with titles, fade-ins, and credits.

Just start sharing your main points. Then post that video to two places – YouTube and Facebook. Use YouTube to share in most places, and use the Facebook upload to share with your Facebook page fans. Facebook’s algorithm favors videos uploaded to Facebook, so those will get seen more than a shared YouTube video.

4. Focus on Next Steps

Many times organizations post information to their social media accounts, but don’t include anything for customers to do. They don’t include a next step. Let’s change that in 2013. Make sure that everything you do includes some type of “ask.” That ask can be as simple as asking customers to “friend or fan” a Facebook Page, or the ask might be to click a link that takes them to a new product or a buy-it-now page.

More people will click if you actually ask them to click. Because of this, make sure to provide customers with some next steps, and actually invite them to take that next step. Do that, and your organization will be one step closer to continued engagement with customers.

5. Focus on your Customers!

Finally, most businesses and organizations, believe it or not, don’t actually focus on their customers! Instead, they focus on their stuff, on their showroom floor, or on their sales staff. In 2013, let’s focus on our customers. Engage them in conversation. Ask them if they like what they’re seeing. Ask them to take next steps, and invite them into your organization.

Follow these five simple reshaping steps, and you will be well on your way to having a great 2013 with social media, and with some really engaged customers, too.

pic by Tintin44

Face2Face Book News

Face2Face: Using facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections Just some recent Face2Face-related book news! For those not up-to-speed, my newest book, Face2Face: Using Facebook, twitter, and other Social Media Tools to Make Great Customer Connections, was published in September.

Book News, Inc recently published a short review of my book. Here’s the review:

King (digital services director, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library) explain the keys to making social media work for your organization. They are listening, authentic communication, and joining in on social networks beyond your own website. Writing in a casual style, he recommends that organizations also use a casual style, coupled with quick and honest responses. Some of the examples relate to work in libraries or events in Topeka, Kansas.

Very fair and nice review – sweet!

Also, just yesterday, an article/interview of mine was published on Business Insider – 5 Ways to Run as Social media Campaign Like a Pro. Check out the article! For some reason, they linked to my first book (Designing the Digital Experience), but what the hey – a link is a link, is it not?

One more – a recent interview for the Ontario Library Association’s Education Institute.

If you haven’t bought/checked out/borrowed/read Face2Face … please do!

Newest Freak Out, Geek Out, Seek Out Presentation

Yesterday, I gave a 3-hour seminar on change, the emerging web, and customer experience to a group of librarians at SEKLS. It was a good day! There was some great discussion, and people told me they learned something, too – can’t beat that!

Here are the slides from that session. Thanks, SEKLS!

A Book Review of Designing the Digital Experience

Designing the Digital ExperienceMy publisher just told me about a review of my book Designing the Digital Experience, and I thought I’d share it with you. The review was published in New Library World (Vol 111, No. 7/8, pg 359-360), and was written by Sarah McNicol.

She nailed it (and I’m not just saying that because it was a positive review). Here’s the start of the review:

“David Lee King is a librarian at the Topeka & Shawnee Country Public Library in Kansas, but he also writes an excellent blog (www.davidleeking.com) on emerging trends in library web sites and digital technology. In this book, he writes in the same accessible and interesting style, focusing on experience design and its role in building web sites. This is not a book about technical specifics, nor a step-to-step guide to building a web site, rather it is a book to make librarians and others, including web developers and marketing professionals, think more deeply about how they design an experience so web site users are “enchanted and captivated.”

Yes! I never intended to write a step-by-step guide to building an experience – how the heck do you do that, anyway? Building experiences, even digital ones, really depends on your individual setting – your staff, your stuff, and your community. My hope is that you read my book, and think. Think about how you can transform a simple website into an interactive experience – much like you already do in your physical buildings.

And … since I’m writing about the book … why not throw in a discount, too? If you buy the book from Information Today before September 5, use this promo code – ITISP. It will give you a discount. Otherwise, buy it from Amazon.

Thanks for reading! And … drumroll please … look for my second book sometime next year! I am a week or so away from sending it to the publisher to do the editing thing to it. Fingers crossed, and more info coming!

New Presentation: Creating Community Experience Using Mostly Free Stuff and Staff

Here’s the Slideshare version of a presentation I did for Proquest at the ALA MidWinter 2011 meeting. It was a fun presentation to do – I was experimenting with creating recurring themes throughout the presentation, and working on my transitions.

I think it worked well. Enjoy!