Social media has changed the connectivity landscape for people with disabilities. Why? Because it fosters social relationships, ease in transacting business, the ability to become part of trusted communities that address everything from gaming to health and Social Security. With increased reliance on smartphones, consumers with disabilities are able to effectively use this life-enhancing tool with ease, anytime, anywhere.
For organizations wanting to reach consumers with disabilities, using social media as a platform is very effective. Some of the pros from www.socialmediaexaminer.com have outlined ways to use social media platforms and SMG would like to share a few tips with you, adapting them to the disability market. They are:
1. Go Deep, Not Broad
Rich Brooks says that when it comes to social media, businesses should go deep, not broad. It’s better to become a master of one or two channels than flounder in many.
When you look at social media channels, a good model is to break them into social platforms vs. social networking sites. Social platforms are like soapboxes; they allow you to establish your expertise and credibility, but provide a method for feedback and discussion. Examples include blogging, YouTube, podcasting and SlideShare.
Social networks are more like a real-world networking event. Think about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and possibly Pinterest. It’s best to research which segments of the disability market are using social platforms v. social networking sites most and develop the strategy to reach them there.
When reaching consumers with disabilities it’s beneficial to choose one platform and one network to focus on initially, and really develop a deep engagement level with your ideal customers there. As you master those channels, you can then start to expand into others.
2. Get the Attention of Influencers
Reaching the influencers of people with disabilities is just as important as reaching consumers themselves. These are parents, therapists, bloggers, disability advocates, caregivers, community based professionals, assistive technology specialists, and others. They are the ones who often times are researching products and services, trying to find ways to make the person/people they serve lives easier. SMG suggests a balanced mix of social platforms and social networking sites.
3. Create Loyalty by Participating in One-on-One Dialog
People with disabilities devour online content since it can often be a lifeline to connect to information on products, services, medical conditions, educational options accessibility, travel destinations – you name it. Consumers want to hear from trusted sources prior to making a purchase and they also rely upon valuable content and insights across your social channels by participating in two-way dialogue on the right channel.
If you find that the Deaf/HOH segment is most active on Twitter, or congregates in a smaller forum, join that platform and be transparent by participating in one-on-one dialog.
You can actually ask your customer directly online how they feel about a particular topic. Learn about their pain points, what they like, don’t like and take those insights and apply them to better your business. Do not pose broad questions to everyone, but home in on specific individuals who will yield a higher response rate.
Perhaps your content can solve some of the issues your customer faces. For example, if you’re a cruise line and you know that a segment of your target audience includes slow walkers, using canes or scooters, for shore excursions, you may want to provide tips to them to help with navigating specific sites at island stops. This will simplify your customers’ vacations and create loyalty.
If you’d like to learn how to understand, penetrate and retain the disability market using social platforms and social networking sites, contact the SMG Team for a 30-minute discovery call to gain further insights. To schedule, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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