Getting your business on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites is practically mandatory, but what do you do when you have your accounts set up? If you’re struggling to fill the content void, take these 3 dos and 3 don’ts to heart:
What to DO With Social Media
- Determine who your audience/market is. Before you take on any marketing endeavor, this question needs to be answered. Who are you hoping will read your posts? Just keeping that in mind can save you a lot of anguish. If your target market is stay-at-home moms in their 30s, using curse words isn’t a great idea. But, if your target market is male fishermen in their 20s, that’s a different story.
- Engage with your audience. This is the “social” part of social media. You can post your promotions all day long, and you should include plenty of links to your own content, but you also need to engage people. Part of that is providing content that is valuable to the reader — how to tell if your battery is dying, what to look for when viewing a house for sale, and other topics. You can also respond to their questions and ask your own questions.
- Market your social media presence. How is anyone going to know you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest? Tell them! Put links on your website to your social media pages, put a sign in your storefront or send out an email to your customers to let them know. On sites like Facebook and Foursquare, you can offer rewards for checking in or other actions, which you can also promote.
What NOT to Do With Social Media
- Develop Foot-in-mouth syndrome. If you don’t have all the facts, especially about news or your competitors, think of Lincoln’s quote “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” We had an example of that recently: a group called American Crossroad, which was founded by Karl Rove, suggested in a mocking tweet that Commerce Secretary John Bryson’s traffic accidents over the weekend were the result of drunk driving. Once it came out that Bryson had apparently suffered a seizure and that was the cause of the accidents, American Crossroads had some explaining and apologizing to do.
- Respond to negativity with more negativity. This is where engaging can get tricky. Not everyone who talks about your business via social media will be positive. But if you do get some criticism, don’t snap back with an angry retort. My advice is this: You can’t please everybody, so don’t let one negative review or comment effect your day. But if you see a trend in what comments are saying, it may be time to examine that aspect of your business. You can then respond with how you will be addressing the problem instead of just getting snippy.
- Mix up personal and professional posts. This can be a problem especially if you are using a social media tool like Hootsuite with multiple accounts. Keep your personal and professional accounts separate and don’t mix up the posts! If all you have is a professional account, well, you’re stuck. Personal venting especially about customers or clients, is never OK on your professional accounts. Stay away from using “I” and “my” on your business’ social media accounts.
These six tips are the foundation of my approach to managing social media accounts for local and remote clients.
Are there any other crucial tips I left out? Let us know in the comment section!