1. Have a proper strategy
You wouldn’t try and launch a product or service in a marketplace you hadn’t researched, so why should launching your product or service in the online marketplace be any different? Set some realistic goals for your social media activity and make sure you have a strategy in place that you can stick to.
2. You don’t need to be on EVERY social media platform
Do a bit of research and find out where your target audience are. If it’s not appropriate for you to be using Pinterest, don’t waste your resources on it. You should regularly review which social media platforms you are using and look at how/what they are contributing to your business.
It’s also worth taking a look at what your competitors are doing on social media…after all, their potential customers are your potential customers.
3. Get the tone right
Getting the tone right for your audience is essential. If you get it wrong, the results can be detrimental. We can learn so much from the mistakes of others – you only have to Google ‘social media fails’ to find endless examples of companies getting it wrong online. Make sure you check everything and double check everything before you post! For larger companies, having a structured process for approving posts before they go out can be particularly helpful.
4. Engage with your audience
There’s nothing more off-putting for your audience than an unused profile. The point of using social media is to engage with your customers or potential customers, so consider asking them what they think of your latest product or service offering, use images and respond to their comments where appropriate.
5. Customise your pages
Following on from point 4, a boring page is almost as bad as an inactive one. Make the most of the options to customise your page – they provide the perfect opportunity to help create brand consistency and promote your business. With new features being released all the time, be sure to review them and if they will add value, make use of them!
6. Don’t forget your links
Social media can have a great impact on search engine optimisation, so ensure that you include links to your social media profiles on your website and in your emails but don’t forget that those links need to come back the other way too, so provide links to your website in your posts and any other online profiles such as Yell.com.
7. Have a plan for negative feedback
Social media provides a great platform for engaging with your audience but your profile won’t always attract positive comments. Make sure you have a plan for dealing with negative feedback, whether that’s providing a transparent response via your profile, or trying to take the negative conversation offline.
8. Don’t just rely on social media
Although social media is incredibly important for business in today’s society, it’s important to remember to incorporate your social media activity into your other online and offline marketing activities – think about including your social media contact information on your business cards, in your emails and on your leaflets.
9. And finally…
Don’t forget to measure and analyse your results from social media. According to the CIM’s Social Media Benchmark Survey, a whopping 49% of marketers surveyed didn’t collect data from social media, while 52% claimed they don’t have time to run analysis…and they’re missing out. Proper analysis of data can help inform strategy and increase the effectiveness of Customer Relationship Management (CRM).