Though you may not want to hear it, today people practically expect businesses to have at least one active social media channel. Just as having an attractive website became a sign of professionalism and relevance with the proliferation of the personal computer, so is having an active, engaging social media presence in the age of the mobile device.
People are interacting with their friends, family and coworkers from their pockets, and that provides an opportunity to interact with your brand too. Social media allows you to reach a much broader consumer, and business, base more easily, personally and measurably than ever before. It provides an opportunity to generate interest through your company culture, not just your products.
But with that massive opportunity also comes great responsibility; poor use of social media can actually hurt your brand. In the news, we hear instances of social media gone wrong for companies all the time. Though poor use of social media can hurt, smart use will only result in your company’s success.
Don’t be “that company.” Follow these six simple tips and you’ll be sure to maximize the benefits of using social media for business.
1. Post regularly
Having a social media channel that’s inactive can make your company look just as out of touch as not being on social media at all. If someone sees you haven’t posted since 2016, they may even wonder if you’re out of business. Posting consistently (at least weekly!) will add to your company’s relevance and credibility and increase your opportunity to engage with your audience.
2. Stay positive and professional
It’d be great if every message customers leave on your social media platforms praised your company for its superior services or products. Unfortunately this is just not the case. You will get negative comments. If they’re outright out of line or seem like fake accounts or spam, report them; however, it’s critical not to lose your temper when responding to a comment online—remember, everyone’s watching. Instead, keep your language positive and professional, just as you would when responding to a customer complaint on the phone or in person. The individual will likely respond positively back, and other readers will be impressed by how you handled the situation. Remember, everyone’s watching, use that to your advantage.
3. Use @tags and #hashtags
The point of social media is to be “social,” so if you mention a person, place or company that also has a social media account, remember to tag them. This means including their username or handle in the message starting with an “@.” Doing so will likely probe them to respond to, acknowledge or share your comment, furthering your social media reach. This is also a great way to gain followers, spread the love and form relationships. Hashtags start an a “#” and are a great way to contribute to an existing topic and help your message be found. Use existing and relevant hashtags when they apply. Some examples would be “#thisiscle, #videoproduction or #shoplocal. There are tools to help you find the most relevant hashtag(s) to include.
4. Don’t be a megaphone, mingle!
Though you’ll surely be posting content regarding your company, you don’t want to be that person who never stops talking about themselves. Remember to put down the megaphone once in awhile and mingle! Like, share or comment on someone else’s content. You can also make your post more open to engagement. In addition to posts about your product or project, ask a your audience a question to get their opinions and generate a conversation about a topic relevant to your industry. You might learn something about your customers while you’re at it!
5. Be creative and try new things
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques. Try posting different mediums including photos and videos. Try a poll. Playing around with various kinds of posts will keep your social media feed fresh and help you determine what kind of content your audience responds to best.
6. Measure your results
The great thing about social media is how easy it is to measure how you’re doing. All of the major social media platforms provide analytics to look at your volume, reach, engagement, influence and more. Keeping an eye on metrics will help you understand what’s working and where you can improve and grow.
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