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Three perspectives on how to use social media

Three perspectives on how to use social media It�s not about sales, it�s about brand awareness, customer trust, recruiting employees

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—When using social media, be consistent, use images or graphics, and find the right outlet for your company, according to representatives from three security companies.

Rebecca Matson Purtz (photo on left), director of business development for Matson Alarm, Kristin Milner (photo in middle), director of marketing at ADS Security, and Alison Shiver (photo on bottom), residential sales and marketing manager from Shiver Security, shared how their companies use social media in the Honeywell CONNECT panel, “Twitter Tales/Facebook Follies/Let's LOL with LinkedIn.”

Shiver said companies should have a media calendar, to update certain content on certain days. For example, on Mondays, Shiver Security posts about the benefits of having a system, and on Wednesdays they share “dumb criminal” stories.

Companies shouldn't remove or ignore bad online reviews, panelists said. Shiver said that companies need to respond to negative reviews and if possible, try to fix the customer's problem.

Shiver said it's important to regularly update posts on social media. She also advised attendees to “bring a little humor to it."

ADS has been on social media since 2009, Milner said, including channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and blogging. She told the audience to involve the whole company; 19 ADS employees have contributed to its blog, bringing in more than 19,000 views since May.

Milner identified Pinterest and only sharing product-related posts as social media tactics that haven't worked for ADS

"Don't ever just share to share, because people will sense that ... always have a goal in mind with what you're doing on social media," Milner said. Posts should direct people to the company website or encourage trust among customers.

Matson Purtz said that Matson Alarm primarily uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The company sees the most engagement with “scary stories,” such as statistics on crime for local cities.

It's hard to measure whether social media creates leads, Milner said. And Matson Purtz said companies are “not going to get sales from social media, but that's not what it's about." It's about brand awareness, Matson Purtz said, and having customers be able to reach the company.

Social media presence can be good for recruiting—8 percent of Matson Purtz's hires were directed to the company through social media, she said.

An attendee asked about the monthly costs of promoting through social media; both Matson Purtz and Milner said their budgets are not more than $200.

Matson Purtz recommended programs, such as Hootsuite and Canva. Hootsuite helps manage multiple social media accounts and platforms. Canva is a program for image branding, layering the company logo with photos and text.

This story is part of a Women in Security special report. For the seventh consecutive year, Security Systems News is highlighting women who are making their mark in the traditionally male-dominated world of security.


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