Hail To The Cheese! Social Media’s Growing Role In How We Interact

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Sometimes my timing is great even when I don’t realize it.

Last week, when I wrote about how social media can make or break your brand, one of the points I tried to get across was that social media allows you to respond quickly to customers’ questions and concerns.

It helps you build one-on-one relationships with them, getting a better understanding of their needs and wants, and letting you explain any steps you are taking to try to serve them better.Although I didn’t know it, even as I finished that piece and sent it out, someone was about to launch a massive effort to do just what I had been talking about. In this case, though, it was a little more interesting as it had to do with tweets from the White House rather than a business!

Brittany Vaill, one of EMSI’s social media strategists, made me aware of the deliciously named Big Block of Cheese Day. It was an annual social media event sponsored by the White House the day after the president’s State of the Union address. (I promise to explain that name in just a minute!)

On Big Block of Cheese Day, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and nearly 50 other Washington dignitaries or officials took turns answering questions through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.

Imagine! The average citizen’s easy access to the powers that be in Washington would have been nearly impossible in the past.

Beyond that, though, I also think Big Block of Cheese Day is one more example of how relevant social media has become in how we interact at so many different levels in our society today.

Brittany, one of our millennials who keeps up with the daily news through Twitter, says social media long ago passed the point where it is just for entertainment or connecting with friends – it’s also a way to follow current events, check out the views of political candidates or research that microwave you’re planning to buy!

Let’s face it, social media is becoming deeply ingrained in everything we do, both in our professional lives and our private ones. For that reason, I asked Brittany and Jay York (another of our millennial social media strategists) for additional tips so you don’t miss out on all its advantages.
Here’s what they had to say:

  • Be there. This seems so basic, but too many people still don’t get it, or don’t understand the importance of it, Jay says. If you’ve got a brand (or if you are the brand) you need a presence on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites if for no other reason than, in this day and age, people expect it.
  • Be part of the conversation. People are engaged in conversations on social media. Years ago, if you had a specific interest, you couldn’t always find many people to talk with about it, Jay says. But now you can easily connect with people who debate things like what the best wood is for a guitar – as odd as that sounds to us non-guitar players. But, if you make or sell guitars, you want to join that conversation!
  • Represent yourself effectively. Figure out the social media platforms that serve your needs best and put them to work. One way to do that is with professionally designed graphics. Becky Lofgren, EMSI’s digital design coordinator who works on our social media client campaigns, says one of the best ways to represent yourself with graphics is by making sure what you use is in line with your branding, such as your color scheme, logo and high-resolution images. “Your graphics should also showcase your brand in a way that will help you stand out from your competition. Too many companies throw together their graphics haphazardly. By putting creative energy into them, they will reflect the same time, care and concern that your customers can expect to receive,” Becky says.
  • Stick to it. Social media represents a long-term strategy in promoting your brand. You can’t write one or two posts, and then sit back and expect results. It needs regular tending to, whether you’re talking about your latest event, joining a conversation about your area of expertise or answering a consumer complaint. Conversations are happening all the time on social media. But if you’re not part of those conversations often enough, it’s like the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Sure, it can be time consuming, but the effort is almost required today in order to be considered a player in the game.

And, oh, by the way – if you haven’t already googled it – let me share about Big Block of Cheese Day. Brittany tells me that, unfortunately, no cheese is actually involved. The inspiration for the day’s title was President Andrew Jackson’s 1837 open house that featured wonderful conversation – and a 1,400-pound block of cheese!

Have a Gouda day!
Marsha

P.S. If you need help with having a powerful social media presence, including professional graphic design, good content and consistency with your messaging, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215 or get your Free Media Analysis here!

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