Social Media is a giant.
From the outset, it seems vast and complicated and time-consuming…which it 98% is, 100% of the time… but it’s a business tool that companies today can’t afford to go without. The more you get to know Social Media, the more you begin to realise that it is actually a friendly giant, who, like a good friend, will get you referrals, send business your way and promote you in the most incredible ways to people you would never have reached on your own.
Believe it or not, there is still a huge number of companies without even a hint of online presence. Many people I’ve met or have worked with say that Social Media is definitively not for them; that they prefer face-to-face communication and aren’t interested in such anti-social behaviour. To which I reply that it doesn’t take the place of face-to-face communication, but it does give your business another crucial platform to market yourself on.
Because, as I always say: “Word of mouth is still great, but it’s a lot slower than Google.” And when it comes to someone choosing you over a competitor – the one with the most trustworthy online presence wins. So, if you believe that Social Media isn’t for you… just remember that it absolutely has to be.
For those starting out their journey to make friends with the friendly giant, here are 6 pointers that will get your Social Media game strong:
1. Know your target market like you know yourself
Before you even begin, you need to understand who your target market is. Who are they? Where are they? and most importantly, How are they? Social Media allows you to get to know your customers on a personal level (see point 2). Understanding who you are selling to and what social media channels they make use of most is vital. So do some research, ask your customers, and people you meet who fit into your target market which social media channels they’re very active on – This will allow you to get a good understanding of what would be worthwhile for your business. You might be wasting your time on Twitter, when the people you are selling to are mainly on Facebook and Instagram.
2. How are they?
Devote time to communicating with your audience. If people comment, post or tweet you, you must engage with them and offer them information that is useful. Social media is a two-way street, and conversation is required. Begin to put good habits in place. Do something as simple as if someone follows you, send them a message saying thanks! Even if you are a bit of an introvert in every-day life, Social Media allows you to be that annoyingly friendly person you always wanted to be.
3. Be nice. Always.
Maintain a high level of ORM (Online Reputation Management). Social Media isn’t censored, so with the good, can come the bad. If a situation arises where someone isn’t pleased, has a complaint or whatever the case is, and addresses it with you online – be apologetic, friendly and helpful in your reply. Never be rude, ignore a comment or lash out. (This can ruin companies both big and small). Your online reputation management is really just great customer service.
4. Keep your diamante-encrusted nails to yourself
Make sure that what you post, share, tweet and retweet is always… I repeat, always… beneficial to your business. Keep your private social accounts and your business social accounts separate. For instance, sharing a political rant on your business page is unnecessary, irrelevant, and might lose you those customers with a different viewpoint. However, if you choose to use your personal account to market your business, then just realise that everything you post is going out to your clients…which is kind of scary if you look at what a lot of people post. My suggestion – always have a separate account for your business. For real.
5. Plan ahead
Use a Social Media Calendar for this. (I will explain more about this and I will have one available for free download soon – stay tuned!) Your business should basically piggy-back on important dates and special events, so you want to get those promotions and social media posts planned ahead of time. For example, if you sell beauty products and you know Mother’s Day is coming up, well there’s an opportunity to do something really special! Planning ahead allows you to set up an organised and effective Social Media schedule for all of your postings, so that you know for a fact that you aren’t posting 1 status in one week, and 18 the next. Consistency is key!
6. Don’t play hard to get
Make sure that you always have a call to action in your posts. Whether it’s a link to your website; an email address; a link to an article; a phone number, or instructions of what to do next. There is nothing worse than reading a social media post that peaks your interest, but then having to hunt high and low for more details. In today’s world, convenience is very important.
So, as you go forth and befriend Social Media, remember that if you are good to it, it will be good to you. So be consistent, be relevant and don’t post anything online that you might want to permanently remove from the World Wide Web in a few years.
For assistance and training, social media strategy implementation or a quick pep-talk before delving into the deep, feel free to get in touch with us.