How should small businesses use social media? For the enthusiastic small business owner, there are plenty of self-proclaimed social media gurus who will (hopefully) try to point you in the right direction. Even for the well-informed entrepreneur, navigating through the massive quantity of ever-changing information is a full time job. Do effective strategies require a dedicated social media department just to stay competitive?
Fortunately, engaging your stakeholders through social media doesn’t have to be an all-out corporate initiative. In fact, diving full-throttle into the social web can easily come off as “trying too hard,” making you look more desperate than interesting. The principles underlying social media are not novel. Conceptually, non-social medium are more audaciously contrary to natural communication fundamentals.
What Who is Yoono?
In their own words:
Yoono is an easy to use sidebar for your browser that allows you to connect to all your social networks and instant messaging services – in one place. Get all your friend updates, update your own status, and easily share stuff with your friends.
I’ve been a Yoono user for over a year and have always been happy with their service. However, it wasn’t until quite recently that I recognized their excellence in social media best practices. As is often the case, it all began with a simple tweet to a friend:
To my surprise, @Yoono retweeted me. While a nice gesture (albeit somewhat self-promotional), I didn’t think much of it at the time. When I recommended Yoono to my followers several months later, I received a personal thanks from their support team.
@SeanWF well now. that’s an excellent reply. thank you very much for the support!
Not only was I given a very personable response but it was within five minutes of my tweet. I decided to take the opportunity to see what else Yoono was doing on Twitter. My experience was no outlier. @Yoono takes the time to retweet or thank everyone who mentions them. They address every question and concern with concision and care. They consistently link out to posts that review their extension. Far from robotic autoresponse, their tweets are obviously personally crafted.
A Narrow Focus, A Broad Reach
My interest piqued, I began to look further into Yoono’s use of social media. The foundation of Yoono’s efforts is their Community Support Forum powered by Get Satisfaction. Yoono team members are active (and quick!) in addressing every question, idea, and problem brought to their attention; often going above and beyond expectations.
Yoono is almost meticulously consistent as a quick glace at their Facebook page shows. The Yoono team often goes out of their way in responding to those who reach out to them. When I began writing this article, I requsted permission to use Yoono’s logo for this post. In less than 10 minutes, they replied.
@Yoono I’m writing a blog post about you. Would you be ok with my using your logo or favicon (properly attributed)?
@SeanWF Great, yes, you can use our logo/favicon, not a problem. Let us know if you need any additional info from us.
What can we learn from Yoono’s example that we can apply to our own business models? I think Yoono teaches us that in order to effectively engage social media we must:
- Act Quickly
- The internet moves faster than you can imagine. The cost of being left behind is high.
- Always Respond
- Never ignore someone who takes time to talk about you. That person could end up writing a blog post about you.
- Be Personal
- Social media is about being social (ie. human) even if the medium is technology-driven.
- Stay Consistent
- It takes just a few clicks to find out everything there is to know about you. Make them count.
Driving the Bottom Line
The Yoono Firefox Sidebar has been downloaded nearly 3 million times and reviewed
160 161 times with an average rating of 5/5 stars. The extension has been reviewed on numerous blogs and notably featured on TechCrunch. Yoono’s Twitter and Facebook profiles each have over 1,000 followers/fans.
*Images curteousy of Yoono.com