Social media presents an amazing opportunity to create strong, lasting relationships with an audience that is interested in what you have to offer. There is no other medium that allows for the insights and two-way conversation that social does. So, you love it all the time, right? Not so fast.
When social media is used the correct way it becomes your best tool in the marketing toolbox to get your information to the right audience. When done incorrectly, it can do the exact opposite. With the click of a button your audience can tell all of their friends and family if they love you…or if they don’t. The power lies with them. So, since you can’t ignore social media, how do you successfully navigate social media?
First, let’s take the scare out of social. It’s just like any other marketing opportunity. The best marketers know the simple formula: Be where your audience is, when they need you, with what they need. This is exactly what social media allows you to do! So rather than shy away from it, embrace it.
Here are some simple social media “Do’s”:
· Do research the social platform you choose. If your audience is on Facebook, be there! If they aren’t on Instagram, don’t waste your time. You don’t have to be on every new shiny social platform if your audience isn’t.
· Do write for the one person behind the one computer screen. You are not writing in the hopes to touch hundreds or thousands, you want to touch that one person who is interacting with you behind that one screen. Make it about him/her. What problem are you solving? Why do they care?
· Do be authentic. Never say you can or will do something and not be able to back that up. Make sure you are always truthful. It takes a long time to build trust and only one click to kill it.
· Do assign a person (or a team) to manage your social accounts. That person should understand the goals and the tone to which they should be posting.
· Do use visuals. Pictures are great. Video is better. Video with captions is even better. All of social is about engagement. How are you engaging the person behind the screen?
· Do respond quickly. In this world of instant, users expect quick responses. Set notifications so that when someone messages or comments the team can react quickly. Be wary of auto-responders. If you use them, make sure they are generic. Remember, not all comments are positive and you don’t want to respond in the wrong way.
· Do set notifications so that all activity on your social accounts can be tracked in real time.
· Do use social media managers like Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) or EClincher (www.elincher.com) to help you manage your posting, scheduling & analytics.
Now for some “Don’ts” to keep you out of trouble:
· Don’t expect to go viral overnight. Unless you are Kanye you probably won’t.
· Don’t create your social profiles and then not use them. It will damage your overall reputation and also do harm to your website’s search engine optimization.
· Don’t shut down two-way conversation. Yes, some people just like to make unflattering comments and shutting things down will stop this. However, it also stops the flattering comments. Set your notifications correctly and you can control how comments are made. Two-way conversation is critical. If I said hello to you and you responded and I just walked away…would you talk to me again? Probably not.
· Don’t forget to check your #tags. This is critical. Many times people think a #tag is fun or memorable without checking. Go to Tagboard (www.tagboard.com) and check your #tag for free. You would be surprised how many tags are used for things other than family friendly viewing.
· Don’t post to little…or too much. Use your analytics, available on most social platforms, to figure out what your audience likes or doesn’t. You can also figure out what the best time to post for them would be.
· Don’t make it all about you and try to sell them on everything all the time. Remember, this is a relationship and strong, positive relationships are never one-sided. Ask questions. Utilize user-generated content. Have fun with them.
These are a few easy tips to keep you out of social media jail. Let me know if you have any questions. You can also join my free Facebook digital marketing group SocialFuel. It’s a group of like-minded digital marketers who like to support each other and share ideas. Ask to join here: www.facebook.com/groups/SocialFuel/.
Enjoy your week and get social!
This article was written for Herr Company’s client The FiveTwo Network. The FiveTwo Network provides support and training for Christian entrepreneurs. Visit FiveTwo here.