Sunday, March 09, 2014

The App That Allows For Real-Time Q&A With Your Twitter Followers

Who doesn't love asking questions? We tend to crave as much knowledge as we can possibly get, so we ask all the questions we can. They don't necessarily have to be educational questions either. You may just want to get to know someone, ask a business directly about particular inquiries, or try to learn a bit more about your favorite celebrity. These days, however, communication has become a bit more "technical". It's as if everything we do or say is voiced via our Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter. This can be both good and bad. The bad being finding out a bit more information than you wanted to know. The good thing, though, is the fact that this gives us the opportunity to ask questions directly to people tagging them. Twitter is the best way to do this normally, due to the 140 character limit. Short and sweet Q&A.

Normally, Twitter can be a bit annoying to deal with due to heavy traffic for particular companies and celebrities. Recently, however, an App called "Flawk" has made the Twitter Q&A a lot easier by making it real-time.

Flawk creators, Kabriel Robichaux and Matt Coalson, are using their app to correct a problem with Q&A and AMA platform problems; they aren't completely "instant". They claim that no one really wants to go to a Reddit page from 20-some years ago to refresh it and see if anyone has really posted anything. They go on to say that "nothing beats being in the same room" and "getting a real, human connection". Reddit does demand that you have an actual verified account in order to take part in the AMA's that they host. Twitter makes things a bit easier because its main interactions consist of replying to tweets and the ever-popular retweet. Even with that, however, it can be very hard to follow all of the questions, answers, and other tweets in order.

With the Flawk App, the creators have more or less created a chat room of sorts. By accessing the Flawk App through your Twitter account, you become directly connected to the event. Since the Flawk namespace coincides with the Twitter namespace, the person hosting the event "controls" what goes on directly, much like a real life Q&A. Everything from choosing which particular questions to answer, which users to interact with directly, and even what songs or YouTube videos to play during the event. While everyone can see the Q&A chat happening, a real-time live chat happens below the Q&A. This allows the actual questions and answers from a company or celebrity to not get flooded with other nonsense from potential spammers, keeping things a bit more professional.

The implications of this for your business could mean great things. How many times have you been reading something on the side of a food package, or any type of good for that matter, and seen the small box that says "Questions? Comments? Call 1-800 blah blah blah"? Imagine this as your time to actually talk to someone higher up in the company without having to sit through wait times or automated phone services.

Companies can actually now host an event for their Twitter followers after a product has been released and get immediate feedback from their first customers. The ability to talk to your Twitter followers in real-time makes for a better connection with your consumers and can ultimately increase sales. Find out what your customers like and what they think you can improve on. The customer is always right, after all.


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Scheduling Your Social Media Posts: The Pros And Cons

So, you run a business. Changes are, you are extremely busy all the time. You have things that you have to accomplish every day, you have a personal life, and it is hard to juggle everything and still be successful. One of the last things you probably think of is social media, although you shouldn't be overlooking it because it is one of your companies biggest tools if used correctly. You need social media to reach and increase your range of customers. This is one of the biggest ways of generating business, and generating business means generating money. If you fin yourself being too tied up with the other various aspects of your life to take on your social media profiles, there are a few things that you should consider first.

Pros of Scheduling Your Posts

The biggest and most apparent pro to scheduling your posts is that it frees up a lot of your time to do other things and not worry about it. You can write everything ahead of time and let a pre-scheduler do the rest. You can set any time you'd like, and your posts will go live in the order that you have predetermined and at the exact time that you have chosen, and you don't have to be anywhere near a computer.

There are certain times during each day that have proven to be the most active times on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else. Sometimes, you're probably going to be super busy during these times. If you schedule your posts, then you can make sure that no matter where you are or what you are doing, your posts are going live at the perfect time for your fan base to see them.

It allows you to manage your time better. You know what they say; time is money, and money is time. If you schedule your posts, you can sit down when you have the time and write them all up and schedule a whole weeks worth of posts in one sitting, and then it's done and you don't have to worry about it anymore. By doing this, you'll have more time to devote to other aspects of your business and life.

Cons of Scheduling Your Posts

We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Scheduling posts makes it a lot easier to goof something up because you are doing several days worth of posts at one time. It's really easy to be in a rush and misspell something or paste an incorrect link without even realizing it until it's a week later and it's too late to fix. This could cause you to look unprofessional to your audience.

You could come off like you don't care about your audience. By scheduling posts, you will not be there when they go live. Now, when you get some sort of response on your post, you won't be there to respond in real time to you potential costumers. This comes off as insensitive, rude, and lets them know you don't care.

You are always going to seem like you're out of the loop. When you're writing all of your posts at one time, you are limiting yourself to current events only. If a new development pops up, you're not going to be posting about it. If something you wrote 3 days ago isn't even relevant anymore due to a change in your industry, now you just look like a clown. And don't even think about making up for it with a NEW post that you didn't schedule ahead of time. Then, you run the risk of having two posts that are too close in time to each other. That looks sloppy, and you don't get the most out of either of the posts.

Keeping up on your social media pages can be a huge and time consuming task. It can even be pretty intimidating sometimes. If you are at a point where you are considering doing pre-scheduled posts, then it is really important to not only weigh out the options, but to figure out what mistakes you COULD make, see where others have failed, and figure out a way to do it without making yourself look foolish. Put time and care into it, even though it's automated.