Social media is a tool for communicating, the panelists for the “Beyond Facebook: Reaching Your Unique Audience Where They Live Online” session on Tuesday told attendees of the IFA 2011 Annual Convention.
One of those panelists, Tasti D-Lite Vice President of Technology BJ Emerson, has been recognized for his role in helping his company excel at communicating with its customers through social media. He shared some insights with his colleagues in the franchise industry.
The first step: “You need to find out where your customers are and what they’re doing online,” said Emerson, “and then be there.”
And here’s where Emerson says Tasti D-Lite has been meeting its customers:
Facebook — Sometimes Emerson will post a picture of the day’s flavor board and ask people which one they would choose. “Then people go crazy because they’re passionate about their flavors,” he said. Customers don’t care about what’s going on at the corporate office, but this kind of dialogue gets them engaged.
LinkedIn — Emerson will use Google Docs to create a form, which creates a spreadsheet where he enters a series of poll questions. Then he embeds it onto Tasti D-Lite’s profile and gets some interesting results and knowledge about customers.
Twitter — The secret to getting more followers is to start by populating your feed with good, valuable content, he said. Then you need to ask good questions to generate discussions and keep the conversation flowing.
YouTube — One time, Emerson and his team got the idea of making a video to reveal the location of a hidden gift card that would go to the first person to find it. After making the video they promoted it on Facebook for a few days before posting it on YouTube at a time they had announced. They weren’t sure how the plan would work, but within seven minutes of posting the video, a girl walked in and found the gift card. Success! The lesson, said Emerson, is to get creative with social media channels, and your company will become known for its creativity.
Foursquare — Emerson got started with location-based social media before Foursquare even got off the ground. He did it in a rough form via Twitter, and with that experience had an opportunity to help shape the rise of Foursquare. Now Tasti D-Lite lures customers in by offering deals to people who check in close to its locations. It also rewards customers who check in with bonus points on their loyalty cards. And, when people earn those bonus points, they automatically let their friends online know through Foursquare.
Image credit: ErickN, via iStock Photo