No one can question the power and reach of social media.
Various platforms connect businesses with the seemingly endless cyber world, with communities and customers. This facilitates growth and awareness with relative ease.
Social media’s cost-effectiveness doesn’t equate to simplicity, however.
Beware! Social media also carries adverse risks to companies, as exposure on the Internet can leave you vulnerable to criticism.
It’s important to have a strategy of how you want to use social media to your advantage. Yes, there’s a learning curve when it comes to understanding what your customers want to see on your channels. What engages them? How can you grow your audience?
Follow these steps when considering taking your company to the social media arena:
- What’s the plan?
Do your research and a build a plan before you get carried away with posting stories and photos on your social media channels. Your business model has a strategy and so should your social media engagement.
(Hint: Create a social media calendar to help carry out your plan.)
Consider things like how often you’ll post news on your channels and what time of day is ideal to post.
Content is key, but not just any content will do. What will your audience want to read? Who creates this content?
Track your progress (or lack thereof) by checking analytics. This will tell you what is and what isn’t working.
- Which routes to take
There’s no rule saying you need to have a presence on every social media channel. Again, do your research and pick one or two platforms that best fit your plan and your company.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the list goes on. Decide which platform is ideally suited for you and dedicate your time to it.
Keep in mind that each platform will have a unique way of interacting with followers. Tailor your content accordingly.
- Get over yourself
Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to boast about your business success. Toot your own horn from time to time. Share updates on new products and services.
But your consumers already know how great you are – that’s why they follow you.
Instead, post content that is relevant to your industry but not specifically about your business. This can be anything from photos or interesting news articles related to your field of work.
- Who are they?
Congratulations, you have 5,000 followers on Twitter. But do you know anything about the people or companies that are following you? You should.
Interact with your fans. Share content that generates conversation. Get to know what your followers like to see and read on your platforms. Learn why they’re there and what they’re interested in.
Your sales department might thank you.
- Who are you?
Don’t assume people know who you are and what your company is all about.
Curious customers and potential customers will almost always make an immediate bee line for your bio page. If it’s blank or “under construction” or missing a link to your company website, then you’re missing the point.
If people don’t know what you do or what your company does then why should they follow you?
(Hint: Be creative when describing who you are and what services your business offers. Social media is not the avenue for bland.)
- Grammar critics unite
Please, oh please, before you hit the share button make sure you proofread every word you want to post on social media. Spelling errors, improper punctuation, bad grammar will make you look unprofessional. In the business world, this is a huge turnoff.
Misspelling your company’s name or a word in an important announcement is embarrassing.
- Hello? Is anyone home?
An inactive account is almost certain to lose customers.
Your followers will wonder if your business closed or if you simply don’t care to share news about your company or your industry.
If you have experienced a change of heart and wish to step away from the social media scene then it’s best to deactivate or delete the account. A dormant account is not attractive.