Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For Tessa Kravitz, Social is the Business

I must admit: it’s always great talking with someone who doesn’t think being business-savvy and social media inspired are incompatible. This is what you get when you have an extended conversation with Tessa Kravitz, one of the busiest people I know. It’s not just about building a large following she told me, but doing your best to consistently and engage that following, no matter the size.

From the Business Examiner to small business clients, her digital philosophy of “engage, empower and share” has its fans. Including me. While some are still unwilling to embrace and utilize popular platforms like Twitter and Facebook, Kravitz believes they are vital to thriving in the 21st Century Economy. As an entrepreneur, she looks at both sides of the coin, and tests every angle before making her judgment. This approach works well, and often wins over the social media skeptics.

You have a diverse group of business clients. How do you manage all of them online, and connect with a wide range of customers? 

Business visionary Teresa Kravitz
I use a few different tools to manage their online presence.  TweetDeck for Chrome is my favorite for managing Twitter from a computer (versus a phone), I like it because I can see all the mentions from the various accounts I manage in one column. On my phone I use Plume, which also gives me the mentions for multiple accounts in one column. For Facebook notifications I use Postling so I am instantly notified when someone posts and I can send the email to my contact when I need to get additional information to post. 

To find content I use Stumbleupon and also look over content that companies in their industry post and sometimes share that too.  I aim for 'informative and interesting' when I post, trying to keep the sales pitches to a minimum. We do use social media to showcase new items, sales, events, and anything else followers might want to know. 

I also have a Google Alert set up to find mentions across the web and reply to those as needed.  Which sometimes brings me to random forums that are related to their industry. For Twitter, I use Bufferapp to space out tweets and not blast a lot out at once. I collaborate with clients, I maintain a shared google document so they can see what I have in store to post next, and so they can drop in ideas as well, but they usually just email things that come up for me to consider posting.

In terms of who I connect with, I use Northsocial to connect with new followers and rally the troops to get current followers excited. We launched a sweepstakes recently and grew the page from 3100 to 5000 in a week and saw increase in activity on posts and random questions and comments coming in to us. 

How were you able to convince companies that social media would benefit them?

For the most part, my clients have come to me, so there hasn't been much convincing.  A lot of that is because the Business Examiner has a pretty strong presence in the local business community so most of my clients came from those relationships.  

For people that are hesitant to get on Social Media I tell them that they could be missing referrals, opportunities to say thank you to kudos from customers, and ensure that any negative comments are dealt with... having an open channel for customers to connect with you is amazing!

Even having a small presence is better than nothing at all. For instance, having a presence but never saying anything... as long as you answer when people take the time to reach out to you, that would be a step in the right direction.  To me, refusing to put your company out there where customers can find you, just doesn't make sense... you're missing out on so much.

To get a better understanding of how she combines social media and commerce, follow her on her Twitter feed.

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