Last week I received an @reply message on Twitter from a local Dairy Queen. It was pretty obvious they were just randomly reaching out in hopes of breaking through the social media noise and maybe get a follow back.
Once I clicked through to see their account, my hunch was confirmed. As you can see from the picture to the left, they had reached out to a lot of local New Orleans twitterati...including one local news reporter and then cut and pasted the same come on message to each.
I clipped this photo and shared it on Twitter with a note that this was a textbook case of how NOT to do Twitter. A few others agreed and retweeted and/or commented back to me.
Now to their credit, the local DQ responded on Twitter. And again, their tweet confirmed my suspicion. They were new here and like many companies, on a mission to build a twitter following. I have no challenge there as I believe that you have to have scale before you can have sale in social media marketing.
The Right Way To Market on Twitter
Where I think DQ went wrong, and where so many brands go wrong on Twitter and in Social Media Marketing in general is they lack patience. They think like advertisers and expect instant responsiveness. They sincerely believe that simply showing up and saying "Hi, I'm here and I bring discounts" is not only an appropriate greeting but an effective one.
Research repeatedly shows that consumers are on social networks to converse, to reconnect with old friends and stay in touch with new ones.
So if you are launching a brand, or you're trying to grow your brand on Twitter, try saying hello and engaging in a conversation. But be strategic about it.
Twitter Engagement Done Right - A Case Study Example
A few months ago, The Drake Hotel [note: The Drake is a former client. My social media marketing agency, Converse Digital was hired to onboard them into the social media marketing space and provided training to their marketing staff] was monitoring Twitter for mentions of the hotel, opportunities to invite travelers to stay at the hotel AND opportunities to engage key Chicago based Twitterati.
One of those Twitterati was David Armano (@Armano on Twitter). The Drake was hosting a series of Cocktail parties to benefit area charities and they very much wanted David to host or at least attend one.
But they didn't just @reply him... instead, they got to know David. They listened to his tweets, read his blog posts and in general, got to know him. You'd be surprised what people will tell you on Twitter if you just sit back and listen.
Why bother to spend all that time getting to know David? Because when the opportunity finally presented itself the hotel was able to engage David at a personal level. They were able to demonstrate that they had been following him and knew a thing or two about him.
And guess what, he was impressed.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. How did The Drake Hotel go from wanting to meet/engage with David to getting him to tell his 30,000+ followers (at the time of this event) that @DrakeChicago does a great job on Twitter.
Well, believe it or not -- one of the oldest networking tricks in the book -- they talked about the weather. Well, more correctly, David tweeted about the weather and The Drake siezed on the opportunity to begin a dialog.
Notice a few things. First, timing. Both David and The Drake were actively online... that's important. If you want to enage your audience, you're going to have to BE ON TWITTER vs just scheduling a bunch of updates and hoping for engagement. Second, notice The Drake doesn't attempt to sell, push, or anything... they just have a little fun. Keep that in mind...as we go along, you're going to see FUN HUMAN engagement is a theme here.
Successful Social Media Engagement
This is where the listening, watching and getting to know your prospective customers or key bloggers comes into play. Once David opens up the door to SELLING by asking about specials, it's a great opportunity for The Drake.
At this point they could just send back some special blogger rate or just answer David's question. But remember, their goal isn't sell him a room night, their goal is to make a friend -- a person who might decide The Drake should be considered the hotel to stay at by all bloggers when visiting Chicago. What hotel wouldn't love a friend of David's prestige telling folks to stay at their hotel?
Let's face it, it works. It results in social media users and bloggers favoring a particular hotel in a destination, much like bloggers favored the Roger Smith Hotel after Chris Brogan wrote about them a few years ago.
So The Drake doesn't just sell.... they engage AND have a bit of fun while doing it. Here is a Tweet by Tweet recap:
And there you have it. Engagement done properly.
There were a number of other tweets that were via the DM channel, some of which are futher proof of this engagement strategy, but as those were in the DM channel vs the public channel, I've elected not to include them here.
The Outcome of Successful Social Media Engagement
The outcome of this, as well as numerous other successful engagements that I've seen for many of our clients is this: making friends online is just like making friends offline. Networking online (which is basically what social media marketing is all about) is just like networking offline.
Be nice. Be likable. Be funny. But DON'T be pushy or about yourself or constantly selling.
Remember, sometimes the loudest noise in the room is a whisper.
Did you like this post? Find it interesting or helpful? If so, please consider sharing it with your networks. I always appreciate it when readers do that. Thanks.
And let me know what you think of this example or share a few of your own via the comments.