Setting up on social media as a new marketplace can feel like you’ve landed on another planet – especially if you’re not already a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram inhabitant. You want to get to know the residents of this exciting new world – but you can’t seem to get to grips with the language. Sound familiar? There’s no phrase book available, but Elle Tucker of RUDE Communications has five hacks to help you talk like a local (when you feel like an alien)…
1. What’s In A Name?
Your first step towards speaking ‘marketplace’ is having the right brand name. If you don’t, it’s like arriving at the party (it is ‘social’ media, remember) with your nametag upside down. So what’s the best way to name your marketplace? Pick something memorable and above all, easy to pronounce.
Our sharing economy clients often go for one ‘hybrid’ word that gives a sense of the business – like SpotHost or GUARDHOG. Also popular in marketplace language are ‘mini sentence’ names like Share Our Style and Borrow My Doggy – or opt to squash the words together like DesksNearMe. Alternatively, go for a classic marketplace ‘–er’ name like Uber or Breather.
2. Get Your Profile Wording Right
Next, make sure you’re speaking ‘marketplace’ when you’re writing your bio (the short summary which will persuade people that you’re worth following). You’ve only got a few words (or 160 characters in the case of Twitter) to inspire and sell a benefit – so this is no time to be witty. Inject it with some personality, sure – and add a couple of hashtags for good measure.
Here’s a rough idea: “A #marketplace connecting people who do something with people who have or do something else, so that they can enjoy a benefit. A short call to action about joining, signing up or renting something today. #sharingeconomy”
3. Parlez-vous Hashtag?
This is the most important section in your marketplace phrase book, because hashtags enable you to ‘show’ your tweets to people who aren’t following you, and join conversations. Marketplaces don’t use just any hashtags though – there are some specific ones that you can put to the test on both Twitter and Instagram. If they’re not working for you (check your analytics) then experiment with new ones… the beauty of social media marketing is that every day you can make changes.
Try these: #marketplaces, #marketplace, #platform, #platforms, #P2P and #P2P as a prefix to something like travel (e.g. #P2Ptravel). More niche are #crowdfunding and #crowdsourcing, and more generic are #tech, #fintech and #ecommerce. For sharing economy marketplaces, try #sharingeconomy, #sharing and #sharingiscaring. And don’t forget to mix them up with hashtags from your own ‘niche’, whether that’s deskspace, dogs or driving.
4. Sharing Is Caring
Even when you’re curating content online, you need to ‘own it’ – and own it in the right language, too. So although it’s great to simply click on the RT icon some of the time, make sure you also put your own stamp on some of the content you’re sharing.
In marketplace speak, that means tagging the author or source, popping in one or two of the hashtags above, being upbeat and complimentary about the post or tweet – and even throwing an emoji in for good measure. The marketplace community is a friendly place, after all.
5. It’s Time To Talk
So, you’ve smartened up your profile, used the right hashtags and even curated some tweets. Now it’s time to speak to the locals. The good news is that they are a welcoming community, forward-looking, innovative and entrepreneurial. So when you’re interacting, remember that positivity and politeness prevail.
Don’t just schedule your activity, and don’t keep pushing your brand without socialising as people will be turned off. Instead, join these like-minded individuals by saying ‘hi’ to new followers, thanking people for a ‘like’ and making sure the content you share is as fresh as the milk in your fridge. After all, marketplacers are online a lot, and old content says you weren’t paying attention. Above all, use the language of collaboration – this is a value shared by much of this community. Soon, you’ll feel right at home…