12 Tips to Prosper in an Urban Commerce

I follow many corporate social media accounts. And I do so for many reasons: to know what is happening around me, to keep updated on shopping trends, even to have an eye on my competitors. If I am completely honest, most of the corporate accounts are pretty plain and boring. It’s evident that they are scared of their potential customers, afraid of doing something that leaves them disarmed… However, it’s precisely the fact of getting a bit out of the box that makes some of them shine above the rest.
The ones that shine always follow these 12 rules (call them rules, tips… anything works.)

1. Tell me a story

You have a story. Your business has one too. What are you selling? Yeah, besides your product/service, what else do you have to sell? What’s going to happen when I buy your products? Will I live an adventure? Will I become a classy person? What makes you different from your competitors? Think about it and come up with an idea of what your business has to tell the world, and then tell it to the world.

2. Tag

Well, not all networks need tagging, but video and photo networks do. If you want to be found, you need to tag everything you upload. Don’t be scared, on YouTube or Instagram you can tag (almost) without measure. Well, on Instagram the limit is 30 tags per comment, but that’s plenty. Sometimes the ways people look for information are inscrutable so tag, tag… and tag.

3. Socialize

You can’t be alone in this game. You need your friends and acquaintances. Grow an online network to add to your global community. This is probably the part which will take more time, but it’s completely worth it. Alone, you can’t. Anything is possible with the help of your friends. Follow your followers. Answer questions and queries, interact within your networks and also outside them.

4. Inspire yourself and others

There’s nothing wrong in finding inspiration somewhere else. See what other shops are doing. Don’t copy and paste, please. That’s ugly. But no worries if you get inspiration in the things others do. Inspire yourself in the things you love, in the music you like, in what makes your heart beat. It will probably make other’s hearts beat too!

5. Have fun

Have you ever had fun looking at the work of someone else that wasn’t having fun? I don’t think so. Having a good time is a must if you want to make others enjoy too. Try to enjoy what you do and you’ll make others enjoy it too. When I had complicated jobs, I used to imagine myself as an actress playing a role! It worked! Always!

6. Let your creativity fly

If it hasn’t been invented, try it yourself. There’s no problem in trying new things. Mix, re-mix. Experiment with new tools. You WILL lose a lot of time, but you will gain experience and, who knows, perhaps, one of these experiments will turn out viral.

7. Adapt your language

You will use gifs, memes, acronyms, emojis… You will empathize with your audience by talking the same language they talk. Ok, not necessarily the same, but close enough to make your message clear to them.

8. Design matters

And it matters A LOT! It’s a good idea to take a course (online or not) on design, learn about how to use typographies, colors and composition. If you don’t know, it’s preferable to be sober than excessive. There are a lot of online tools that can help you in your designs: Canva.com, Colourlovers… use them. You don’t have to be an expert to do reasonably well when preparing things to share on social media. If you really can’t do these things, being aware of trends will help you if you need to hire someone.

9. Follow the rules

Rules apply also online. Read TOS carefully before organizing a contest. Don’t take pictures from a website without knowing if you can (pay attention to the licenses they have, so the take doesn’t become steal.) Also, you should follow non-written rules, as netiquette rules are: don’t CAPITALIZE your writing, don’t abuse abbreviations, well… you know.

10. Learn

Keep on learning forever. Trends come and go. What’s a hype today, might be completely out-of-date tomorrow. The social networks that work today might die next year. I’ve seen the advent and fall of many social networks. If you’re old enough, you have even seen internet giants fall…. Remember to have a couple of blogs about social media in your reading list and also remember to follow your competitors to see what they are doing.

11. Big Data

Are you taking advantage of the information social networks collect from your clients? Yes, you can hyper-segment so as to reduce your efforts in advertising. Are you collecting data from your clients in any way? Think about it… maybe you should.

I’m loving these sponsored posts on Facebook — someone’s probably made a page named after whoever you’re a fan of (Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Star Wars, The Goonies, David Bowie…) and they made nice t-shirts that they advertise and sell to you. Guess who has already bought a couple of them? Nerd-ism has its disadvantages ;-).

12. Golden rule

In other words, don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you. Or, in a positive frame, do to others what you want them to do to you. What do you like to see online? What kind of posts do you read? What type of accounts do you follow? Well, you know what you like, you can replicate the style in your own networks.

Now it’s your turn to put all these things–or at least some of them– into action. No big deal, just common sense. But, as Voltaire said, isn’t common sense the least common of all the senses?

Originally published on cristinajuesas.es/en