Over the past two days, I explored the top four reasons why companies are scared of social media and how to help them overcome their fear. Once the business owner conquers their fear of social media, it’s time to act. Here are 8 tips for companies beginning their journey in social media.
While you may eventually want to create a presence on more than one social media site, you don’t need to dive into all of them at once. Pick one site that you are most comfortable with or that is the most relevant to your company and/or products, and create an account and a public profile.
Learn the Game
Observe how others, including your competition, are participating on the social media platform you chose above. Write down what seems to work and what does not, and what you like and what you do not. Take special note of how people interact. Is it a one-way conversation or are both parties participating? What’s the tone of the conversations?
Develop a Plan
It’s one thing to participate in social media but to do so without a plan can be frustrating and even damaging to your business. Think through your goals – what are you hoping to gain from your social media interactions? Then work backwards to create a process that will accomplish what you are aiming to do.
Monitor Your Brand
Part of an effective social media campaign is keeping track of who is talking about your company, what is being said, and how others are reacting to it. Using a set of social media monitoring tools will help you stay on top of this…and it may even help you find new business opportunities.
Even though you are representing a business, don’t ignore the importance of the “social” element. Allow your interactions to retain the human side that will facilitate genuine connections. And don’t think you need to be all business, all the time. Giving a personal feel to your presence will make your business more approachable and relatable.
There is nothing worse than a company attempting to be active across social media, but ignoring the masses. Once you commit to a social media marketing campaign, you should also commit to responding to questions, complaints and other input from your customers.
Ask for Feedback
One powerful use for social media in business is as a customer service tool. Instead of waiting for a customer to air a complaint, use social media as a way to engage and interact with your audience. Ask for feedback, reviews and insight to help you reach your target more effectively. And be sure to thank everyone who chimes in individually.
Your profiles, comments, posts and conversations should stay true to your company’s overall mission and values. If more than one person is posting on behalf of your company, it’s vital to have a standard tone and guidelines for consistency. Once you expand your reach to more than one social media site, consistency is even more important.
What advice would you add for a company just getting their feet wet in social media?
Image credit: iprole