Ten years ago or so some thought that social media for business was a fad or a flash in the pan. Well its 2015 folks, and unless you’re living under a rock we aren’t asking whether its here to stay but how were going to cut through the clutter and become social media superstars.
These days when people want to learn about a brand they start their search online, so its best to be proactive instead of reactive.
Before joining every social media platform out there, tweeting about your latte and posting it on Instagram here’s a list of dos and donts to become social media superstars for business:
Do engage your audience
Find out your audiences interests and always start on social media itself. Follow influencers and discover what they find interesting. Gauge which posts gets more interactions and tailor content that will resonate with customers.
Dont forget to monitor
Scan the web for comments, testimonial, reviews, complaints and respond promptly. Stay up to date with your industry news and what your competitors are up to.
You don’t want your competitors to out do you or miss the good and/or bad chatter that may be floating around about your brand and/or industry.
Do use the right platforms
Not all social media platforms were created equally so its important to determine which is best for your business. This depends on your niche or industry. If you’re selling a funky fashion line to millennials then using a platform where your visual content will shine like Instagram and Pinterest is a must.
If you’re a consultant, don’t ignore the connections and influencers that you could be making on LinkedIn and Twitter. You may not have the resources to be on every platform so do yourself a favour and select the top three platforms for your business. Quality over quantity always rules.
Don’t misuse the platforms
Something that’s OK for Twitter may not work for Facebook.
Tweeting numerous times a day is acceptable but the same amount on Facebook can be annoying to your audience and even be considered spam. You dont want to be unfollowed or even worse, unliked, do you?
Do use visuals, hashtags, and links
Get photo happy since the most engaging posts on social media are visual ones. Pop a picture in a tweet and it will be retweeted more. Get discovered by using the appropriate hashtags.
When someone searches a keyword, they may end up on your post. Use links to guide users back to your website.
Dont make it all about your brand
It’s not an Opera, me me me, I go by the 80/20 rule. Let your brands personality come through but don’t be a super self-promoter by posting one billboard after another.
Eighty percent should be about what your followers find interesting, useful and relevant so much so that they cant get enough and share with their network.Twenty percent can be how great your brand is. Promote away and have a call-to-action to inspire your audience to become customers.
Do be an expert in your field
Become an SME (Subject Matter Expert). If you happen to be an event planner, share some value-added content by tweeting about the knowledge you have in 140 characters or less. Post a behind the scenes picture of the setup for your latest soirée on Instagram.
Pin tips on event planning on a Pinterest board and finally post happenings before, during and after your extravaganza on Facebook.
Dont stray from your message
You’ve established what you’re all about so have your messages be heard. Just because your selling paper towels doesn’t mean the content has to be bland. For some brands, Instagram has been a great way to connect with their employees, stakeholders and to reach out to customers.
Why cant paper towels be an exciting commodity? Always keep messages consistent with your brands identity. Encourage discussions and get a better understanding of customer needs.
Do channel your Olivia Pope when dealing with a crisis
She’s “the fixer” on the very popular drama, Scandal.
No one anticipates being a part of a social media scandal until it’s too late so have a contingency plan in place just in case. Last month, Hollywood actress Jessica Alba was being praised in publications about her success as co-owner of Honest Company. This month she’s dealing with outraged parents posting pictures on social media of their sunburnt children after using the sunscreen claiming the product didnt work. Here is where sticking to your messages and responding to customer complaints is crucial.
At first they said they’re standing by their products. When it got hot and reputations were on the line, their message changed to empathizing with the parents. Honest Company posted a blog on both Twitter and Facebook and Jessica Alba apologized on Instagram.
Don’t Pay for fans and followers
You have thousands of friends, it looks great on the surface but how do you engage robots. Sounds very lonely. Paying for fans is a no no but paying for ads can yield some great results.
Organizations who are not participating in social media today are simply missing an opportunity to spread its message. For clients unconvinced that social media is an essential part of the marketing mix I tell them its an opportunity lost in creating brand awareness, driving new sales and relationship building with influencers.
You may not be able to control what others say about your brand but at the very least be present in the conversation. Do social media for your business.