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Studying Companies Doing Social Media Properly and Understanding the Method.

I shall be sharing insights on companies that have been noted doing social media properly and underlying the methods of these companies, and I admit thanks must be attributed to other social media experts that have taken resources and time to study these companies properly. The purpose of this article is to help new companies and existing companies that are struggling with social media management. I am aware this article will help you as well.

Can we just begin?

1.  Zappos

What do we know about Zapos, well Zappos is an online retailer that sells shoes, clothing and accessories. They’re popular for the enormous emphasis they put on creating real relationships with their fans and customers.

You would not disagree after taking note of their Facebook custom welcome tab below. Their catchy saying, “Let’s be in a Like-Like relationship,” shows they treat their potential fans as equals, solidifying their relationships even more.

One great strategy they have employed is to first ask for the Like and then ask their new fans to join their email list. Once you click their Like button, the custom tab changes and you then see the opportunity to sign up for their email list and interact with their products, as seen in the image below. By waiting until after the fan clicks the Like button, Zappos is  among the companies proving they care about building relationships with their fans first.

In addition, Zappos uses a strategy often called “fans-only content” where they reveal content only after someone has become a fan, such as the fashion images in the illustration above. Once you click the Like button, you get instant access to exclusive content, videos and special promotions.

They’ve also included comment widgets, as seen below, on their custom welcome tab where you can post about their products and your comments will post to your profile or page, telling all your friends or fans what you like most about  Zappos. Great social proof!

One of the best engagement strategies I’ve seen on Facebook is Zappos’ “Fan of the Week” contest, which few companies use to their advantage. They encourage fans to send in their photos with the Zappos box and other fans get to vote on the best photo of the week. What’s great is that Zappos highlights the fan of the week by putting him or her in their wall image photo for all to see. As seen below, this is definitely about putting your customers first!

 2. Ford Motor Company

Ford has brought the social experience to the forefront of their marketing efforts.

Each time they add a new blog post, they pull in the image, headline of the post and the comments from readers onto the front page of their website. Those new to the site or those browsing for a new car get to experience the company and its culture from a social viewpoint right from the start.

Their blog, The Ford Story, is also unique. In the image below you can see their innovative layout where viewers can start reading the comments before they read the article, putting their fans’ and followers’ viewpoints first. Introducing your blog and your readers’ comments to new viewers sets a welcoming and friendly first impression for any company.

Notice the placement of the Stories button in the image below. Ford takes the social sharing component to the next level by not only asking their customers for their Ford stories, but also asking their community to share ideas that are in popular categories like Safety or Personalization.

Ford uses this as a way to get new ideas for their next generation of cars. These ideas are not taken lightly; Ford has used many of these innovations to advance the technology of their cars. They do a great job of involving their fans and customers into their company growth.

Also, photos are always a great way to attract new viewers and draw in existing audiences. In the image below Ford has added a Flickr widget to show off some of their latest photos, making their site more interactive and fun. (One little-known fact is that Flickr is a fantastic tool for search engine optimization. When you load your photos onto Flickr, you can tag them and optimize the descriptions.)

While digesting these strategies used by Zapos and Ford Motors, can you also take time to digest these tips that have been discovered to be the catalyst of the above companies?

Tip: Brainstorm ways you can use social media to make your fans the stars; join the cool companies. The more you spotlight your fans and followers on your social media channels, the more often they’ll engage with you and come back for more. Note, you don’t have to be a billion-dollar company to model what Zappos is doing on their Facebook page. You can take their best strategies, tweak them to fit your unique needs and make them work for your business.

Encourage your customers to share their stories and ideas and make it easy to do so on your site. Also, make it easy for readers to interact with and share your content by adding more opportunities to comment on your blog and sharing buttons to encourage social sharing.

Please do not hesitate to leave a question or share your insight as well, as I find this imperative if the need arises.

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