Social media is more than a buzz word, although it is indeed buzzing right now. We took a look at the broad scope of social media—the why, what, and how often—including the integrator perspective on why PSA Security Network integrators (Intelligent Access Systems of North Carolina, Dakota Security and March Networks) got involved and what it’s doing for their businesses.
Why participate—or better yet, why not?
No matter where you stand on whether it works or how much time you should spend investigating or participating, there is no question that you should have a presence in the social media world. It’s not going away! The key is to remember that, even if you and your company choose not to be online, everyone else is already out there. At the very least, you need to be monitoring what people are saying about you. The truth of the matter is that having a social presence is now expected by your customers and potential customers.
PSA Owner Ron Oetjen of Intelligent Access Systems (IAS) of NC, based in Garner, N.C., explained that for his company, “Social media is a way to reach customers and prospective employees on a different level. We are constantly reaching out to them with news about our company, new products, success stories, etc., and they get to view our posts on their schedule. Prospective employees get to get a real feel for the IAS culture by following us in the Web 2.0 world, which is great for recruiting!”
Dakota Security, Sioux Falls, S.D., another PSA Owner company, focuses online efforts toward increasing visitors to their website and converting them to leads for the sales team. Micah Carlson, director of Marketing, of Dakota Security stated, “We view social networks as a tool which allows us to broadcast our message to more people and drive more traffic to the home page.”
March Networks, a PSA Premier Vendor Partner located in Ottawa, Can., is active on a number of social media networks because partners and end-user customers are increasingly relying on social media as another way to get the information they need. Jeff Taylor, North American Channel Sales and Marketing Leader of March Networks explained, “We want to make it as easy as possible to do business with us and social media is part of that.”
In addition, participating in social media helps March Networks stays current on what’s happening in the industry. “News is almost instantaneous today and a lot of it hits social media before it’s shared elsewhere. Following our partners, customers, and various security industry associations and publications, allows us to better understand what’s happening in the industry. It gives us access to individual insights that we might not be privy to otherwise,” said Taylor.
Here are a few simple tips to remember when crafting social media messages.
Always keep your audience in mind. Don’t get so tied up in what you want to tell them that you forget to talk about what they really want to know. People aren’t waiting to be told what to do, they’re looking for shortcuts—the tips and tricks to make their lives and businesses run easier. The end goal can’t always be to sell something, but rather to focus on providing worthwhile content and developing a brand and reputation for sharing valuable information. Doing this tastefully will enhance awareness of your offerings and your reputation as an expert so when the need arises for your product, they’ll know who to turn to.
Don’t forget to incorporate some fun! Your message doesn’t always have to be serious. Social media is still about relationship development so having a little personality and showing your human side can be a very good thing.
Post often enough to show up in your audience’s feed daily. Tweeting twice a month will only ensure your message gets lost in the shuffle.
Be aware of timing. If you don’t know when people are looking for what you’re sharing, you’re missing a golden opportunity. Experiment with your social media endeavors. Post at different times of day and monitor engagement to figure out what day and/or time of day works best for your audience.