Social media gives businesses a way to interact with customers on a friendly basis, just as though they walked into your physical world shop and chatted a bit, which they probably do if you have a physical world shop. We like to provide about 80% helpful information and community involvement and 15% information about the company and its special offers and events. Then we sprinkle on about 5% fun and frivolity.
From a marketing standpoint, it shows you’re a real person and makes people like you more. From a human standpoint, it brightens your visitor’s day — and what is a better day brightener than toys?
Herewith, some social media toys to share with your followers:
- Status Cloud grabs your Facebook updates for the year and creates a “collage” which looks, as you can see at right, like a paragraph. This can make a fun year-end post. You can choose a color scheme, set your own titles, and pick and choose from a selection of updates Status Cloud autogenerates from your Facebook page. You can’t choose to use your business page or create multiple clouds for various accounts you administer. If, like me, you use Facebook for personal social media, you can still use Status Cloud by identifying it with a phrase like, “Manager John Doe made a Status Cloud from his Facebook updates and you can too…” If you plan to do this, have a look right now at how it would turn out so you can still influence the outcome if you don’t like it.
- Year in Status creates a Wordl style word cloud with the most commonly used words at either Facebook or Twitter. For Twitter, you can use any account to which you have login information, so this is more practical for business. At right you see the Twitter cloud for our lab site, FreshPlans. Josepha tweets for FreshPlans, and you can tell that she knows the readers are the most important part of social media by the size of the word “you.” Year in Status lets you choose from a variety of color schemes, and you can also order a mug or a mousepad with your tweet cloud if you’re in the market for such a thing. Again, you might want to see how it looks right now — I had a look at one former clients and saw that he has the words “body,” “fat,” and “scared” prominently displayed for his company’s tweet cloud. While results you don’t like can give you a helpful wake up call about how you’re tweeting, it’s not too late to fix that if you want to use this tool for a New Year’s post.
- Twitrounds is probably the most fun of the many, many social media background options. You should have a custom background for your company, but your customers will probably have fun playing with ready made backgrounds for Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Wix only does Facebook, but it’s
- The Twitwee Clock isn’t a toy you can play with, unless I suppose you write to inventor Haroon Baig and ask if he’ll build you one. Baig said he might post a how-to at his blog but that was a couple of years ago and he hasn’t yet done so. I think the fact that he tagged this as an art installation means that this a thought experiment of a toy. And why not? This is a physical cuckoo clock that announces tweets rather than the quarter hour.
- TweetTest generates funny little games and quizzes based on your followers and followees. Can you recognize your friends’ Twitter bios or guess which tweet goes with whom? The personalization is what makes this toy fun to play with.
Have you spent enough time playing with social media toys now? Put them away and get back to work — but if you were tempted to play, your followers probably will be, too.