Beginning your social media journey is an exciting time for your business. Considering your customers are glued to their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, there is tremendous opportunity to engage with them on any of these platforms. From sharing information to addressing customer concerns, there are a variety of benefits to being actively involved in these communities. Before you get started, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
What should I share?
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter strive to get people talking about relevant topics. The best way to keep your audience interested — especially when you’re starting out — is to post information about your industry or that is somewhat related to your industry. For example, if you’re a retailer that sells furnishings like hand-painted tableware, mugs, and kitchen accessories, you can introduce a brand new dining set available for sale or even share a recipe to a delicious cake. You can even share a blog post about the best way to clean hand-painted tableware that preferably links back to your own website. With social media, you truly get a chance to develop a voice for your company or brand.
To stay relevant in your industry, it is important to strike a balance between promotional and original, non-promotional content. If you are having a sale this week, definitely alert your followers across all your social channels; but keep in mind that followers don’t want to see 100% advertising on social media — that is not why they are there. This is another great reason to amp up your blog with engaging content your followers are likely to share within their own circles. This maximizes your reach. On a site like Twitter, it is also wise to engage in Twitter chats specific to your industry to create a presence for your business on that particular channel.
How should I share?
Posting on social media channels doesn’t really have a lot of rules. Rather, you need to find out for yourself through a process of trial and error when the best days and times to post are for each individual channel. Each channel has a personality of its own. On Facebook, you may see a spike in activity around lunchtime on Tuesdays, while that same time slot may be a dead zone for Twitter. Test specific days and times for each channel you are active on until you see a trend. Pick what works best for you and your company. The main thing to keep in mind is to never give up and post regularly. This could mean three times a day or three times a week…it really depends on the habits of your audience. With close monitoring the first few weeks you are sure to find a good formula.
Do I matter yet?
Social media takes time, especially for a smaller sized company or a new brand. To earn your follower’s trust continue posting information that is relevant to their lifestyles. Make your social activity fun and take advantage of social’s ability to humanize your company or brand. This means be consistent with your voice and branding. Your voice should be consistent across all social channels no matter who is coming up with them. If you have not done so already, establish your voice and your brand prior to posting on social media so that your followers will know what to expect from you. In this way you will establish familiarity, and eventually trust.
Trust is the result of consistency and value. When posting on social media, put your followers first. Think about what they want to learn about or from your company. A safe post usually involves some kind of insider knowledge, or tools and tricks of the trade. When you show off your industry expertise, you give your followers an incentive to keep checking in with you to keep learning about a topic they care about. This establishes you as a professional and earns you their trust.
How do I manage my online rep?
Social media, unfortunately, is not all fun and games. Once you stick your neck out into the social media world you put yourself at risk of a social media crisis. Even if the crisis is not social media-related, if your company is ever faced with a disaster, you’d better believe your closest followers will be talking all about it on social. While we can choose to hope it never happens to us, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
If you want to be perceived as a trustworthy organization, you must be transparent with your followers at all times on social media. Whether you are addressing a foul customer service rant or a national PR disaster, stay calm, collected, and never contradict yourself.
If you are new to social media’s dark side, an online reputation management strategy, or ORM, crafted by an experienced marketing team is essential. Market My Market is a full-service digital marketing agency that can help you optimize your social media strategy. Call us today at (800) 954-9441 to see how we can take things down a notch.