When I was first asked to run a Facebook and Twitter account for a client one whole year ago I have to admit I was slightly nervous. Although I have a personal Facebook account, I wasn’t sure how it would work being the voice of a client. What would I say, would people like what I’d posted, how could I get the ‘likes’ up?Never one to walk away from a challenge, I took the account on and over the next three months learned what worked and what didn’t. Primarily I realised that on Facebook images are key – and as the client was an African volunteering placement specialist, there was plenty of opportunity to find and post fantastic pictures of wildlife as well as run caption competitions. It all worked, the ‘likes’ went up and there were a number of enquiries generated via Facebook. Twitter became second nature as I set up a week’s worth of tweets via the Hootsuite system. I kept an eye out for all sorts of interesting snippets to tweet, such as animal events at the National History Museum. I also became quite emotionally involved with the rhino crisis whilst reading heart-breaking stories of poaching – and survivors of poaching.
In the summer I was asked to take on several different accounts – a luxury country house hotel and a travel portfolio. These two have presented different challenges, particularly the hotel and Twitter as there is a marked increase in two-way traffic – I need to be right on the ball when answering questions or dealing with complaints. My most recent account is associated with Bear Grylls – not the man himself but one of his joint endeavours. The great thing is that if you mention anything to do with Bear, thousands of people immediately like what you say, whatever it is!
Facebook has changed with its stock market flotation, and the drive to make money is seen in the promotion costs and if you want to promote a post, you pay. Understandable with businesses, but the concept has crept into personal accounts – I’m really not sure if I want to pay to promote my personal life, but there may come a day?
Before I started running social media accounts I was a Twitter sceptic but I now feel very comfortable with tweeting, @s and hashtags, including that strange tradition of #FF. In fact, one of my clients receives tweets from someone looking for new business from Monday #MM to Sunday #SS – not sure if he realises just how irritating this has got!
As we move into 2013 I’m being asked to think about other social media – Pinterest is one I’ve started playing with, but I’ve yet to get stuck into Linkedin in a major way. The thought of learning something new in social media is exciting and challenging. The only thing I have to keep an eye on is just how much time I spend in the virtual world that is social media – a walk round the garden in the sunshine (and there is some out there today) is the best tonic!