While you may have a few social media profiles set up for your business, you may not be using them to their full advantage. Social media is the most pervasive communication channel of the modern day. Long gone are the days of speculation about what value social media can have for business. If you want to compete, it’s not enough to be present online, you’ve got to be savvy about it. Try these social media business tips to improve your performance.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Some Personality
Oftentimes businesses are afraid to let their personality shine through on social media. However, the most successful companies online are those that make the effort to be more personal and build relationships with their stakeholders.
Social media coordinators are more like brand ambassadors. They are there to give life and personality to your products and/or services. For that reason, you should wholly trust whomever you place in charge of your social media accounts.
2. Develop Guidelines
Although you have to allow your coordinators some flexibility and creative control, it’s important not to let the pendulum swing too far in the opposite direction. Define some simple, yet rigorous, guidelines regarding language, style, and compliance.
You should have two separate policies prepared: one for the company’s official accounts, and one for employees.
The social media policies your company employ will depend on your industry and business size. As Jylian Russel at Social Media Management platform, Hootsuite writes, having a formal policy in place “helps protect your company’s reputation, defends against legal troubles and security risks, and empowers employees to share company messaging”.
3. Try Everything
Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, try it all and fill out as much of your profile as possible. Most Social Media sites now have taskbars that measure how complete your profile is. Fill out your ‘About Us’ section, list all contact details, post regularly, and register your business with Google.
The more active you are these channels, the more likely you will attract attention from stakeholders and potential customers. Some marketers may recommend limiting yourself to two or three sites, but if you want to cast a wider net you should leave no stone unturned. This will also allow you to quickly discover which platforms your customers are most active on, and how to utilise your time spent on social media most effectively.
4. Be Consistent
Having a consistent message and style is crucial on Social Media. This also means having a consistent message and call to action. Use consistent messaging across all your platforms – digital and traditional. If you have a printed advertising campaign, make sure to have links or QR codes redirecting them to where you are online.
As far as style is concerned, do you use tags? Do you use hash tags? What tense do you use? For an excellent resource in developing your own company’s style guide, visit this Hootsuite link.
5. Actively Engage with Other Pages
Look for bloggers that write about your industry, and actively read, comment and share their posts. As Amy Vernon, social media consultant and co-founder of CMO for Predictable.ity, says in an interview with Fast Company, “You need to build relationships before you need them”.
These networks will become invaluable in the future and may lead to greater exposure to larger audiences in the long term.
6. Be Respectful
The Internet can seem like a dangerous place for your brand. The slightest turn of phrase can be taken out of context and turn into a viral nightmare. You don’t have to look far to find stories of companies that have damaged their online reputation by accident.
Luckily, you can avoid being on the sticky end of a PR crisis, by simply being respectful and aware. This is especially pertinent when dealing with difficult or offensive customers. There are many tactics you can employ to diffuse these situations. These include acting quickly, apologising if you are at fault, and showing empathy and concern.
7. Have Fun
It may be work, but social media by definition isn’t about being industrious, it’s about being social. The best way to yield results on your page is to play around with it. Break some rules and try something different every so often.
Hopefully, this list of social media best practices for business has given you some food for thought. Let us know your opinions, and what has worked for your business.