It’s no exaggeration to say that social media has changed our world. It has revolutionised the way we connect, the way we communicate and in some cases, the way we think. It can unite or divide us. It can link or disconnect us. It can be a force for good or in the wrong hands a destructive, unpleasant force. Either way, we know one thing. Social media is powerful.
Harnessing that power for the good of our business can be tricky. It can seem like a minefield, trying to work out what’s best for our business, and how to go about building our social media presence. And while there are no rules, there are still points to remember if we want it to work for us. Basically, we want to connect with our established customers, and become visible to potential new customers. So it’s important to get it right. We’ve put together a Top Ten of what to do and what to never do!
Do be a human. You’re not a robot, after all. Give your posts some personality. Let your customers see a warm, welcoming side to your business. Be open, friendly and honest. Keep it positive and engaging. Start the odd conversation in your posts, asking for comments from your customers. People like real humans more than cold machines.
Don’t overdo it. Post regularly, but not every five minutes. It weakens and dilutes the message, the posts get lost amidst the noise, and people stop reading and scroll past if they see too many posts from one person or business. Remember, you want to engage with people, not bore them.
Do know your customers. Remember to think of what they want from you. They’re interested in your business and the service you provide. They’re not interested in you personally. Make sure your posts are always relevant to the business relationship you have with your customers, that way, you’re giving them something to engage with.
Don’t ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ your own posts. Don’t do that. Don’t ever do that. Please. Just don’t. It doesn’t look good, it looks desperate, unprofessional and people will think less of you.
Do keep track of time. Time is crucial when it comes to social media. We all use it in different ways and at different times. You want your posts to be seen by the maximum amount of customers. It’s a good idea to experiment by posting at different times and using the analytics to identify when would be the most effective time for you to post.
Don’t swear or use language which may cause offence. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how common it can be. You want to be seen as professional. Keep it clean.
Do always respond to negative comments. Even if you don’t agree with the comment, try and find a way towards a positive settlement of any issues, and always remember you’re doing this in public. Others are watching. Which is also why you should never delete negative comments. You want people to see you in a positive light, always.
Don’t forget the positive comments either. Always make sure you reply. Stay friendly, keep them engaged. If they’ve taken the time to write something positive, then it’s only manners to invest some of your time in them too.
Do make sure you understand which platforms work best for your business. Not all of them will suit your company. For instance, if you want to drive traffic to your site, then Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter would probably be your best option. Whereas, if you’re trying to improve your SEO, then YouTube or Google+ would probably be a better option. It’s all about knowing what you need from your use of social media, how your company can benefit and how you can engage more customers.
And finally, don’t forget to enjoy it. Use it to grow your network. Be a little creative with your posts, run a ‘like and share’ competition occasionally. It doesn’t have to be an expensive prize or even from your company. It could be a couple of theatre or cinema tickets. Use your imagination in your posts. It’s about engaging customers, bringing them along on your journey and giving them the chance to help you grow your business.
Oh….and the golden rule….the BIG one…don’t ever post after a couple of glasses of wine, or a couple of beers after work!!! It’ll never be a good idea!!!