Are You Using Social Media Effectively for Your Business?
Remember just a few years ago when some “industry experts” were predicting social media would be a passing trend and therefore paying attention to it was unnecessary? Hopefully you didn't listen to that and have already embraced social media’s ever-growing presence. In fact, according to the Alexa 500 rankings, Facebook is the 2nd most-popular website in the world, YouTube is 3rd, and Twitter is 7th. Social media is here to stay and it’s time for businesses to use it effectively.
1. Social Media Encompasses Multiple Departments
First off, it's important to realize your customers don’t care about you. It’s a harsh truth but once you've accepted it you’ll be able to use social media more effectively. What your customers care about is what you’re going to do for them. Some days that means being the complaint department and diffusing an irate customer. Other days it’s being a salesperson and talking up your products. Mostly though, it’s being a channel between the customer and the purchase. Introduce new products/services to them, listen to what they have to say, and always keep in mind the potential reach of every post, tweet, or comment. The last thing you want is something you post to go viral for the wrong reasons.
2. Say No To Spam
What’s more annoying than spam emails? Spam social media posts. Spamming posts makes you look desperate, out of touch, and untrustworthy. Social media should be personalized whenever possible. Posting the exact same content time and time again is a great way to get people to ignore you. It’s not interesting and gives off the impression of a business that doesn’t know how to relate to its customers. People use social media because they're able to constantly see fresh content. If your accounts are consistently posting the same content, there's no reason for people to follow you. Giving people fresh posts keeps them engaged.
3. Don't Be A Robot
How frustrating is it when you call a customer service line and you just can’t find a real person to talk to? Multiply that aggravation by 10 and that's how bad it is online. Recorded phone messages are bad enough, but there is no excuse for having scripted responses to questions and concerns online. That’s not to suggest you shouldn't have some sort of guide in place, just don't copy and paste the same responses over and over. Your social channels shouldn’t look like they’re automated. If that’s the case, they’re doing more harm than good. This will drive traffic away from you. People reach out on social media because they expect a real person on the other end. Instead of navigating a phone menu and then waiting on hold for an hour they can get an immediate response.
4. Be Careful With Self-Promotion
This one is admittedly tricky. For starters, don’t Like your own posts on Facebook for favorite your own tweets on Twitter. This is tacky and makes you look unprofessional. Think of self-promotion on social media more like an acceptance speech at the Oscars than anything else. When you do something well and are rewarded for it, thank the people that made it possible. There is nothing wrong with calling attention to yourself if you do it in the right tone. More of a, “look what our beloved customers made possible,” attitude. Not, “look what we did because we’re so great!”
5. Stay Consistent
In all likelihood your Twitter followers are also going to Like your page on Facebook and vice versa. Make sure the information on both pages is the same. Obviously you don’t want to post the exact same messages on both accounts, but staying consistent is a key to succeeding on social media. Contradicting yourself between accounts is a surefire way to upset and confuse people. Posting differing information on your channels gives the impression of incompetence and tarnishes your reputation.
6. You Can’t Delete Anything
Pressing the delete button might make something disappear on your screen, but once it’s on the Internet it’s not going away. If nothing else, people love to screenshot mistakes. Everything you post on your social media channels instantly becomes available worldwide. It’s important to realize the impact this can have on your business. One tweet can follow you forever. Just ask American Airlines. Sure, they deleted the offensive tweet, but the stories have already been written and they're not going anywhere.
7. Be Timely
Some of the most impactful social media posts from brands in the past few years have been incredibly simple with perfect timing. Take Oreo’s tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl for example. Within minutes of the lights going out in the Superdome, Oreo sent a 4-word tweet that said,"Power out? No problem," and an image of an Oreo and the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet has been hailed as one of the top moments in Twitter history by Yahoo, Huffington Post, and Mashable. That’s the beauty of social media. Sometimes it’s best when it’s simplest and spur of the moment. Oreo saw the opportunity and took it. Sent any other time the tweet wouldn't garner even 1 percent of the attention it received. But by being timely they took advantage of social media’s popularity and it paid off big time.
Getting the hang of social media isn’t going to happen instantly. Even if you hire someone with tons of experience they’re still going to need some time to get acclimated to your community’s tone. However, if you’re interested in using the power of social media to increase your business’s online profile the time to start is now. To schedule a free consultation, click the button below.