7 Mistakes Security Companies Make On Social Media

…unless you’re prepared to do it properly. Think about it. If you run a newspaper ad with a typo, you can fix it in the next issue. If one of your salespeople makes a mistake in handling a customer, you can follow up immediately with an apology and possibly even save the sale. If an un-proofed email offers one client a price lower than you had planned, you can absorb the mistake for the good of the company, or re-negotiate with the client. All of these things are relatively easy to fix.

But with social media – hit enter and everyone in your network gets the info immediately. Your Facebook fans all get excited when you accidently offer a lower price than planned, and your salesperson messes up on a twitter post and manages to make half your followers mad in minutes. Make a typo in your eNewsletter and it’s in everyone’s mailbox with one click and impossible to retrieve.

Here are some common mistakes security companies make when they jump into social media without taking it seriously.

 

Doing it on the cheap. Yes, the cost of most social media tools is free or right next to it. However, this doesn’t mean you should let your college marketing intern or a staff member who attended a free four-hour seminar handle your social media requirements. Like any other representation of your brand, your social media presence should be a planned part of your entire marketing strategy.

Dismissing its importance. Social media has the potential to open new markets for you, but there’s a good chance that members of your current market are also paying attention. The immediacy and unpredictability of social media can turn a minor mistake into a major error in a few hours. You need to do it right or forget about it.

Just boasting or pushing product. This is not a paid ad running in the middle of NCIS. People choose to “like” your Facebook page or follow your tweets because you provide something they find useful. Bragging about your company and constant pressure buy your services, even when combined with photos of the annual client holiday party, will not cut it. (Unless, of course, some of those shots have blackmail potential.)

Pro Tip: Mention any recognition your company has received, and provide notices of new product lines and any special sales opportunities you have. But keep the pitching down to no more than 20% of your posts. If you want an audience, you need to pay attention to what they want from you.

Ignoring or misinterpreting your audience. Who will want to pay attention to your social media efforts? Who are your current or potential clients, competitors, suppliers, and others in the security industry? Think of this audience when you develop your social media plans. Offer educational information, industry updates, and entertaining videos or stories that tie in with your company and the security field. Absolutely mention any recognition your company has received, and provide notices of new product lines and any special sales opportunities you have. But keep the pitching down to no more than 20% of your posts. If you want an audience, you need to pay attention to what they want from you.

No readiness to handle customer issues. Once you’re out there, any unsatisfied customers will not hesitate to jump in and complain about you on your Facebook page. This can range from a mild remark that they didn’t like your installer to a harsh statement that your company did X, Y, and Z to them and they hope you all go to…. What is your policy for handling unsatisfied customers? Better have one and be prepared to use it in a very public way.

Treating it as only a fire extinguisher. If you only use social media when there’s something that needs the immediate attention of your customer base or to explain your blunders, you have turned these resources into your own bad news bearers. No one will want to hear it. You want to be a valuable and steady resource. Social media can be used to help put out fires, but only if you’ve been planting the right messages already.

Expecting quick results. It takes time to build a following and develop your social media presence. Be willing to celebrate small steps, and eventually social media will be a natural part of your outreach and branding efforts.

Think social media will be easy?

It’s not.

Before you dive into the social media pool, do what you need to do to avoid the problematic deep end. Start by taking a look at some companies that handle social media well. “Like” various business pages on Facebook and see what they choose to post. Check on your competitor’s social media efforts and learn from their successes and failures. Spend time following various Twitter accounts, and get onto Google+. Read blogs from your industry, and pay attention to style as well as content.

We’re available to help you navigate the rocky waters of social media and avoid the whirlpools, escape the sharks, and keep the jellyfish from stinging…. OK, OK, I know the images were getting a bit out of hand. I’ve been thinking about the beach a lot lately.

Just give us a call if we can help.

ABOUT Ignite Security Marketing

Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2009, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.

How To Go Viral on Social Media: A Primer For Security Companies

It’s the dream of every corporate social media expert and all social media consultants – having your image, story, video, idea go viral. 

Like the flu, viral messages spread without any effort. You just have to be unexpected, funny, witty, unusual, (UFWU) enough to capture the attention of people who have lots of friends and share UFWU things with each other.

Here’s the tough part – you never know what will catch on. This particular graphic list came from a creative bunch that needed something to replace the little animal picture they had up for Groundhog Day. 

They chose coffee after hearing about some sort of marathon that involved running a lot, drinking a dozen cups of coffee, then running a lot more – which fits the UFWU approach, although it seems like a really bad idea otherwise.

It Happens By Being Yourself

They actually copied the concept – although not the info – from other people who have done the same sort of thing. The other people’s ideas did not go viral. They put the list together quickly as a group on a Friday afternoon and one of them posted it on Facebook and Twitter. Then they had a good laugh about it and went home. Now pay attention to the following quote, it tells you better than anything else how viral really works, “We weren’t trying to make anything cute or funny. We just needed something to replace the groundhog.”

If you want to understand the difference between the accidental nature of real viral messages and the many, many attempts to create something that will go viral, watch a couple of the late-night talk shows when someone who has a reputation for being funny is a guest. Pay attention as the host lobs the guest a couple of pre-planned softballs, allowing him or her to lob some designed-to-look-off-the-cuff stories or remarks back. It may be funny, but it’s planned funny, which takes some of the zing out of it.

Pro Tip: Years ago, funny people would say funny or smart or cute things in an office environment and everyone would laugh and go back to work. Now, with social media, you have at least a slim chance to get some recognition for the joke or idea and you and your company at the same time.

Being Real

Now, go back to the old days of late night television and pick up a “Best of Carson” program. The style and humor are much less sophisticated, but there are moments on that show that would have gone viral if that had existed back then. As a matter of fact, almost anyone who worked in television back then had a reel or tape of grainy but funny outtakes collected from colleagues across the country. For an example, visit YouTube and do a search for Paul Lynde doing the Weather in Toledo Ohio. That was making the rounds long before the Internet existed.

While you’re on YouTube, look for a video about a frustrated talking dog. That video went viral and it led to a clip of that dog appearing in a commercial – no, not the dog, a YouTube clip of the dog – or at least it was made to look like a YouTube clip and it looked like the dog. (With ads, you can never be sure whether something is real or they’re just trying to look cooler than they actually are.)

By the way, did you notice how many Super bowl commercials this year involved dogs? Guess what kind of videos tend to get the most attention on YouTube? No, not those! It’s clips involving dogs, or babies, or baby dogs, or dogs and babies together, many of which are cute enough to hurt your teeth. People who write commercials are clearly spending way too much time checking out social media outlets to see what people watch or tend to like or share.

So how is this a problem?

They’re missing one of the most important ingredients of viral – the unexpected. One dog commercial is fun and memorable. Twelve or so and you’ve lost the impact.

What can you do to create something that goes viral? The easy answer: you can’t. But of course a social media blog has to provide some well-meant advice, so here goes.

When something makes you laugh – post it. When something unexpected happens and you happen to get a photo of it – post it. If you have a good story – post it.

Years ago, funny people would say funny or smart or cute things in an office environment and everyone would laugh and go back to work. Now, with social media, you have at least a slim chance to get some recognition for the joke or idea and you and your company at the same time. What’s the worst that will happen? Nothing – literally. No one comments or shares your post. What’s the best possible outcome? A mass influencer shares your post unexpectedly and it brings recognition, possibly new business and dare we say it…and little bit of fun to your security business.

ABOUT Us

Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2008, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.

10 Ways Security Businesses Can Get More Love on Twitter

Does the idea of getting followers on Twitter overwhelm you? When you’re starting from scratch without any followers, it can seem like an uphill climb to social media success. But while building a Twitter following takes time, there are lots of ways for businesses to get more followers on Twitter:

Enable social sharing on your website.

Add social sharing buttons to your blog and regular website pages, so that visitors to share your content on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are even services like Tweetmeme that allow you to add RT@YourUserName to the end of each tweet shared from your site; that’s a great tool to help you get more followers.

Share content that’s share-worthy.

By sharing high-quality content on Twitter that is interesting to the people you’re trying to attract, you’re more likely to get followers than if you simply make your Twitter all about promoting your business. Building a Twitter following is like a building a field of dreams. If you share it, they will come.

Ask your real friends to follow.

If you ask family and real-life friends to follow your business’s Twitter page, it will increase your follower count and make a better impression on the potential followers you want. Don’t forget about your employees; they have a vested interest in the success of your business, so ask them to follow as well.

Invite the people you want to follow you.

Your partners, vendors, clients and customers are all potential followers on Twitter. Send them a friendly invite via email to follow you. Make it as friendly and personalized as possible, while still remaining professional. And thank them in advance for following!

Pro Tip: People will follow those who are like-minded, and hashtags denote like-mindedness on Twitter. Just make sure the hashtags you use are representative of the impression you want others to have of your business.

Put a link in your email signature.

Adding links to your company’s Twitter page in your email signature is great for building a Twitter following. You can also create a signature template that includes these links for your employees and other colleagues in your business.

Link to Twitter in blog comments.

When you make a comment on another person or company’s blog post, make your username a hyperlink to your company’s Twitter page (rather than a link to your blog) until you get the minimum number of followers you want.

Cross promote on your other social media profiles.

Link to your Twitter profile on your Facebook page, your LinkedIn profile and your YouTube channel. This works when applied diligently.

Make the most of your contact page.

Tap into your contact page’s true potential by linking to your Twitter profile on it. Remember: Social media is visible, so if customers reach out to you on Twitter rather than email, others will see it and may be inclined to follow.

Put your Twitter handle on business cards.

Yes, hand-held business cards still matter; they just need to be updated for the new media age. Do this by including your Twitter handle (your @___ address) on your business cards, and hand them out with newfound enthusiasm. It’s so crazy, it just may work.

Engage with others on Twitter.

Sometimes, getting more Twitter followers is as simple as engaging others on the platform. Talk to the people you want to follow you, and follow them back (the #FF or “Follow Fridays” trend is a great excuse to reach out to others in an unthreatening way because others are doing it too). While we’re on the subject of hashtags, businesses can use them. People will follow those who are like-minded, and hashtags denote like-mindedness on Twitter. Just make sure the hashtags you use are representative of the impression you want others to have of your business.

These are just some of the ways to get more followers on Twitter. Businesses can try them all, and then stick with the ones that work best for them once they establish a Twitter following they are happy with.

About Us

Ignite Security Marketing is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in marketing and salesforce automation for the security industry. Since 2008, we have been the marketing partner of choice for SDM 100 corporations and SMB’s around the nation.