Social Media Ideas From The Big Boys Online

Yesterday, we talked about how to start spearheading the best brand-building social media in your station.  Today, we’ll start a semi-regular series, looking at how the biggest online brands do their social media.  One that we’ll examine today is eBay, which has something big in common with radio.  We’ll also look at MSN, which … while a huge online brand … probably doesn’t have the clearest image in many people’s minds.  Is it a search engine?  Is it an information portal?  What do you go first to MSN.com for?

eBay calls themselves the World’s Online Marketplace, and says that millions of items are traded daily on their site.  You’ll find their Facebook page here.

One thing that I’ve been preaching here on DailyRadio Social Media is to use your social media … particularly your brands’ Facebook pages … to focus on your biggest fans, rather than building the number of people listening.

That’s what eBay is doing.  They’re focusing on their heaviest users, working to get more use and webhits out of them … by enticing them with more of what they love about eBay!

For instance, here’s a very radio-esque post, working to get big eBay fans back to the website for a good cause … to bid on items being auctioned off to raise money for Japanese earthquake relief.

This is actually a post that could be on a radio brand’s Facebook page, huh?   eBay clearly knows that their biggest fans aren’t just shopping for practical reasons; they enjoy the brand, they enjoy the eBay experience.  They’re using their social media to talk to their “P1’s,” if you will … and get them to give up more “listening occasions,” which, in this case, is more times on the website.

If you think about it, their biggest fans are probably the ones who enjoy both the buying process and the selling process.  So, they have plenty of social posts geared towards eBay sellers, too.

I’m sure that, for people who enjoy being both sellers and shoppers, any deal that benefits sellers turns into a bunch of extra pages viewed.  Those people who take advantage of deals for sellers probably then spend more time shopping on eBay, as well.

eBay fans are sort of like the people who sell stuff at community markets and giant garage sales.  It’s not only a chance to sell their wares; they also enjoy walking up and down the aisles seeing what else is being sold, and taking part in the community.  I’ve known people who would sell stuff at this giant arts and crafts market who would come home with less money than they went with!

eBay doesn’t post a lot on Facebook … maybe once or twice each weekday … but they make the most of what they post, keeping it very much about the eBay brand experience, and focused on showing their heaviest users a good time in a number of ways.  What they’re doing must keep people coming back.

If you don’t spend much time on the MSN site, you might not know what it is … search?  Email?  Short for MSNBC?  Where Microsoft is gonna try and sell you something?

Actually, it’s mostly about news, and has a broad assortment of links to informative articles including customizable local news, weather, events and so forth.  It’s better organized than many news sites, and is more like USA Today than it is like a news aggregator such as Google News.

When you hit their entry page at Facebook, you see they’re working to engage over their news content, and then hoping to get you to check out the rest of the MSN empire from there (specialized content about money, entertainment, sports, and so forth).  On their wall, they’re very focused on asking for your feedback about different news items.  For instance:

Like eBay, they’ll post a small number of posts per day … maybe 2 or 3 … and keep it very focused on asking for opinions or thoughts about hot-button news items.  That’s pretty much all they do … engage with news fans.  They’ll put up a bulletin about something big, but they’re teaching a lesson that a lot of news/talk stations could learn from.  They’re not trying to be a news service on Facebook; that’s what their website is for.  Instead, they’re taking news that people are likely to have strong feelings about, and give people a chance to weigh in.

When you stop and think about it, that seems like a pretty smart way to use social media for a news product.

I’m sure you have thoughts about how this affects you and your brand’s social media.  Holler at me and let’s start talking about how you can focus your digital efforts on building your brand … just click my name to the right.

Chris Miller

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