CHICAGO -- Kay-Tee Olds, known online as The Mobile Contessa, shared tips on best practices for social media during CSP’s Loyalty Forum in Chicago.
Most of Olds’ presentation was focused on real-world interactions between convenience stores and customers concerning loyalty programs, but it became clear when the floor was opened to questions that retailers were hungry for advice on the constantly changing social-media landscape.
Here are four tips Olds shared on managing a successful social-media strategy …
1. Navigating multi-channel options
When one retailer asked whether each of his stores should have its own Facebook page, Olds’ answer was swift and blunt: “I’d shut that down today.” She said it would be a logistical nightmare to try to manage so many different pages and that it’s important to keep a brand’s message unified.
Another attendee said that he uses a different tone on Facebook and Twitter when interacting online with customers, and asked if this was a sound practice. Olds again stressed the importance of a unified message, but pointed out differences between platforms.
While brands can get away with around 12 Twitter posts a day without bothering followers, Olds said more than two posts a day on Facebook can be annoying. She also encouraged attendees to examine what they’re doing to get followers of one platform engaged in others.
2. What about Waze?
When asked about Waze, the community-driven directions app owned by Google, Olds suggested retailers get into it fast. “It is now the largest GPS player in major cities,” she said, and it includes features that can potentially benefit c-store operators if used correctly.
“The Waze app is allowing customers to buy real estate,” she said. Retailers and other business owners can buy ads that pop up as drivers using the app approach locations on the road. The directions on the app even reroute the destination if users click on the ad, showing them the best way to reach the advertised location.
3. Is Snapchat the next big thing?
Olds preached caution when considering Snapchat for one reason: “Snapchat seems to be preparing for a major transition.”
She pointed to Snap’s recent initial public offering (IPO) of stock as one piece of evidence that big, difficult-to-predict changes are on the way. She also listed a few potential scenarios for the newly public company:
- Snapchat could become a pay-to-play platform.
- The company could be positioning itself to be bought.
- The app could go in a number of directions.
Olds told retailers that if Snap merges with or is acquired by another company, hop on. But if the company isn’t acquired, then starting a new Snapchat page in an attempt to keep up with the times may not be wise.
4. The human network
“It’s not B2B or B2C, it’s B2H—business to human.” Olds said that whether a business is talking to its customers or to another business through social media, the message is ultimately reaching another human being, and that the human wants and needs of the recipient should always be considered when crafting a message through social media.
Ultimately, that means acknowledging that social media is not just a megaphone, but an online interaction between human beings. “It’s important to be having a conversation with customers, not pushing” information at them, Olds said.