Today’s Follow Friday recommendation and guest post highlights my friend Matt Russo. In addition to working with my husband at 30 Lines, Matt is co-founder of ChatterJet, a soon-to-be-launching service that helps a business’s “social media accounts take flight by offering a unique blend of current topics, conversation starters, and content ideas based on your industry and location to help you grow your fan base and expand your reach to new audiences.” Plus, Matt can sing and dance. And, his home renovation is beyond impressive. Combine all that with the fact that he’s just smart and it’s easy to see why I’m suggesting you go follow Matt. But first, read about his recent trip to New Orleans and what he realized about online monitoring …
This past weekend, I took a trip to New Orleans for my college roommate Zach’s bachelor party. As a way to document (let’s be honest, remember) where we went and what we did over the course of the long weekend, I decided to track our whereabouts using a dedicated hashtag – #ZekesBP.
During the day, we hopped from bar to bar watching the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament, and at each location I checked in using FourSquare. When I saw something fun or interesting about the city, I captured it using Instagram – all the while using #ZekesBP in my updates.
The morning after our first night out, I was pleased to see that a hotel I had tagged in an Instagram shot (@hotelmonteleone) had seen my tweet and shared it with their followers.
But here’s where they fell short…
That specific social media interaction isn’t going to lead to more revenue. Why? Because the contact point was too far into their potential customer’s lifecycle.
To be fair, this was a special weekend because the NCAA tournament AND St. Patrick’s Day were both happening at the same time, so there’s a great chance they didn’t even have any rooms available. But had they been listening differently, I could have been a guest at their hotel that weekend.
Tip #1: Listen Earlier
Give potential customers a chance to act on your social media efforts. This means you might need to listen for things long before a transaction takes place.
Months prior to our trip, I published multiple tweets along the lines of: “Heading to New Orleans for a bachelor party. Any good suggestions? Hotel recommendations?”
The responses from my friends and followers who had visited the city were very helpful. But none of the nearly 200 hotels in New Orleans ever reached out to me directly. And by the time we arrived in town, we were already checking into their competitor’s suite.
As our trip progressed, I continued to check in and was pleasantly surprised with the responses I received from various establishments. Both Pat O’Brien’s (@patobriensbar) and The Old Absinthe House (@OldAbsintheHouseNOLA) retweeted me or thanked me for stopping in immediately, a timely gesture for two extremely busy bars in the middle of Bourbon Street.
The missed opportunity, in this case, was not from the two bars mentioned above (they had already earned my business and did a nice job following up); the big loser was every other bar in the city.
Had anyone been monitoring the names & check-ins of their competition, they could have easily identified us and coaxed a party of six paying customers into their bar for a round with a simple tweet like, “Bring the bachelor here for a free shot!” or “Show this to your bartender and get $5 off your order.”
Tip #2: Listen Better
Listen for terms that lead you to people who need your product or service. (Tip: This is probably NOT your company’s name.)
Today, we live in a world where people are publicly sharing gobs of information about where they are, what they’re doing, and who they’re with.
If you take the time to think like your customer, identifying prospects becomes easy. And when you are able to present those people with an actionable offer that fits their worldview and timeline, you greatly increase your chance of driving more sales.
Brand monitoring is a must, but companies that subscribe solely to a geocentric perspective of social media are missing out on a plethora of revenue-producing opportunities. The goal of social media isn’t to add something else to our plates; it’s to make money. But until it is used properly, the debate over its value and ROI will undoubtedly linger.
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