An acquaintance recently asked me what my top 10 tips for using social media are. A pretty big question right? Of course it’s one that is answered on every blog across the globe that covers social media, even so I thought it would do no harm to give my angle on it. Read on for my tips.
Number 1 – Cut the crap
Tell the truth, be transparent, don’t treat people like fools and respect those who take the time to interact. Your not God’s gift to the social media space. Yet.
Number 2 – Get the right people involved
Don’t put your latest intern in charge of the delivery of your social media strategy, even if they’re well versed. By all means get them involved but never let them make key decisions. No matter what some say, social media isn’t easy, people need to be in charge that understand this.
Number 3 – Start small
Don’t go in all guns blazing, take the time to work out the best network/outlet to start with. This should be in-line with your aims, want to build awareness fast? Facebook may be the best starting point. Keen to drive sales via codes? Twitter may offer a quick impact albeit short-term solution. Remember for long-term engagement, you will need to create good content, the best home for this may well be a blog. Start small and build a system slowly.
Number 4 – Think to yourself ‘would I want to read/hear that?’
People will tell you that using social media can ‘give people a view of the true personality of your business/brand’ and indeed it can, however getting the right message is key. I don’t give a crap what my friends just had for lunch never mind what the bank staff down the road chowed down on. Have an aim for every update, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Augment with images and video. (Number 5 applies directly to this)
Number 5 – One voice isn’t the way forward
Your MD, CEO or chairman is highly likely to be a phenomenal business person, but do they have a personality that works in the social space? To really communicate with customers, prospects and other stakeholders, your voice needs to represent your full structure, from frontline staff right through to the top of the tree. Give them a voice.
Number 6 – Exclusivity goes a long way
People who take the time to interact and show a commitment to your brand via your social channels deserve a little something back. Discounts are great but perhaps a little obvious. Give them a sneak preview of your new range, ask them to feedback on ideas for a new product. Make them feel special!
Number 7 – Publically declare resoultion of issues
So somebody is hacked off at your service and has publically told the world via twitter. What you gonna do huh? Approach them publically, take it ‘offline’ and resolve it. Once it’s sorted then it’s your turn to tell the world.
Number 8 – Learn the basics!!!
Each outlet or network has it’s best practice ways of using it. I see an amazing amount of businesses tweeting in a way that is far from condusive to people sharing. 120 characters people! Never ever link networks together so that they automatically update each other. Take the time to learn the do’s and dont’s before you start (there are a few!)
Number 9 – Remember timezones
If you create a great piece of content that you think deserves to be shared with the world, remember to put it out there at suitable times. When I blog the first thing I do is send a link out on twitter, I then schedule further tweets to ensure coverage on the East and West coasts of the USA. Don’t over do it though, nothing worse than somebody pushing their own content too much!
Number 10 – Assess and reassess
Never rest on your laurels. Set goals, listen, monitor, test, assess and tweak. Social media marketing can take up some serious time, don’t plod on with activities that are not resonating with your audience or meeting your marketing goals. Your fans will appreaciate a freash approach.
Bonus tip – Don’t try to move people…
Your audience may well be out there in online communities outwith the key networks. If it’s working for them there you have little chance of shifting them elsewhere. All is not lost, tread carefully and offer value and you may well be able to work with them in their current territories.
Hopefully that was a useful read, it barely scratches the surface but they are all very important. There are so many opinions in this game and every top 10 you read will have different ideas, take the time to read as many as you can!
Why not share your tips with the other Social Penguin readers – the comment section is there for your use!
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