Think of us as your social media sherpas and think of these “dos and don’ts” more as guidelines. We want to guide you to social media success. So why tweet, post, update, share and upload? Social media is affordable, effective and important. The cost is merely an investment of your time. Social media has become one of the best customer service tools available. And never before have marketers had the ability to hold a two-way conversation with their customers. We urge you to give social media the respect it deserves!
DO DETERMINE WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICE BEST SUIT YOUR BUSINESS
If you are doing employee recruiting or article sharing, we recommend LinkedIn. If SEO is a top priority, Google+ and YouTube are important. Driving traffic to your site and improving customer engagement are Facebook and Twitter’s strengths. And, if you have a multitude of images to share, Instagram is the obvious choice. Through trial and error, you can figure out which combinations best contribute to your business goals.
DO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Speak to them and about them, not solely about yourself and what you’ve accomplished. If you won an award or hit a big goal, talk about it. Your fans will want the opportunity to be supportive of you! But use the 80/20 rule when talking about your business and its products and services. Eighty percent to educate readers, twenty percent about yourself. The majority of your social media content should be information that is helpful to your customer. How to’s, statistics, trending news, etc. This is your opportunity to build trust and rapport by sharing useful knowledge.
DO SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY
Social media is the time to let your true colors show. Do you work in an office that does yoga on Wednesdays and has a putting green to help employees de-stress? Share your personality by allowing a sneak peek (but remember – only 20% of the time). It’s important that you have the same voice across all of your marketing channels, although social media allows a more casual and fun tone. Being personable will help you connect with your followers. People buy from people before businesses, and from people they like before people they don’t know at all.
DO USE ANALYTICS TO MAKE EDUCATED CHOICES
Timing is everything, or at least it’s something. So why not utilize the free tools that tell you exactly when your followers are following? The goal is engagement, after all. You can also see which posts perform the best and adjust your strategy as you go. The data can also help when you want to run paid ads. We’ve never had such a perfect opportunity to speak to specific audiences based on demographics, interests and behaviors.
DON’T TUNE OUT OR DELETE NEGATIVE COMMENTS
If your followers are talking to you, you are required by law (not really) to talk back! Engagement is what you want, even when those comments are negative. Look at negative comments as an opportunity to show your superior customer service skills. Not only do people buy from people they like, they buy from companies with which it is easy to do business. Companies that care. You won’t always receive raving reviews, but now you get something priceless – feedback. And you didn’t have to conduct an intensive market research campaign; you simply connected via social media. This is deserving of a pat on the back. Or a cookie.
DON’T LIKE/FAVORITE YOUR OWN POSTS
Facebook will often recognize you as your business page and not your personal page, so be sure to check yourself before you “like” or comment on something you posted. There is an option to select who you want to “like” or comment as. Don’t accidentally “like” your own business post as your business. Do, however, ask your employees to participate by engaging with your brand. The more eyeballs on your social media content, the better. And, if others see that your employees are excited about your company, they might just want to know what all the buzz is about.
DON’T TALK RELIGION OR POLITICS
Certain topics are not meant for social media, although relevant, controversial topics are occasionally okay. A little controversy can contribute to higher engagement rates and lead to good conversations. Conversations are best posed in the form of a question so that you are not stating your stance. If it doesn’t work out as planned, you have the ability to monitor and referee.
DON’T OVER OR UNDERDO IT
You don’t need us to tell you to avoid spam. Okay, maybe you do. DON’T BE SPAMMY! But you also don’t want to get things rolling and then ditch your social media friends. Simply having the account isn’t enough. Just as you would not stand in the corner alone at a networking event, you will not be too busy to engage with your followers! If you’re doing your job right, they will have come to rely on your content, and it is your job to produce.
Social media doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow a few simple guidelines and use a little common sense, and you’re in business! When in doubt, follow the golden rules of social media.