Four Best Practices for Social Media
The first question many business owners ask about social media is, “Why?”
While a natural question, it misses a bigger point: No matter how you look at it social media isn’t going away – it’s only getting bigger and constantly growing.
The companies that will end up getting the most of social media efforts will be the ones who embrace the social as part of their marketing efforts — instead of just hoping to get to it each day.
It’s more attainable than you think to effectively manage social media while being attentive to the rest of your business. The trick is to strategically plan how your company will approach social media —just like you would plan any other marketing campaign.
These best practices will help you get started on the right foot:
Social media is not one size fits all.
You may be tempted to create a business profile on every social media site. Don’t. You’re not expected to be on every social site because your business is unique; not every site is relevant to your company. Select what sites suit your brand. Start with a manageable number and then add others (as applicable) once you have your primary accounts mastered.
Maintain a consistent brand perception.
Even though social media is constantly changing, keep in mind that there is still an underlying expectation for consistency and credibility. This is why it’s important to take your approach toward social media as seriously as any other part of your business. Think about how you want your brand perceived: professional, casual, playful, trendy, traditional? Consider how this perception will help you reach your goals, whether those goals are to increase your brand awareness, to generate new customers, to retain current customers, to increase your bottom line, or to get feedback.
Commit to a social calendar.
Plan out the days that you will post about upcoming events, share company news, and incorporate quizzes, contests, and other small talk to further build engagement. You can even think outside of the box by taking advantage of holidays or major events, such as the Grammy Awards or the Super Bowl. And don’t forget to keep the big picture in mind: at the end of the day, your target audience is just like you in the way that they want to feel valued and engaged, so it’s OK to be relatable and comfortable with change.
Be realistic and prepare for the tough days.
Don’t go into social media thinking that you will always remain in control of the conversation and all the feedback will be constructive and polite. It’s a two-way conversation, so before you join any social media sites, come up with a plan of action in how you will respond to negative publicity. The worst thing you can do is ignore it or delete it (unless the content is vulgar). In the long run, these tough times can make your company stronger by handling negative publicity in a respectable manner.
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