The 5 social media commandments for businesses
So you've decided to take the plunge and get social. Create all the accounts! Post all the cat pictures! Like all the things!
Or perhaps just take a step back and consider these basic rules when starting with social media for your business.
Thou shalt think strategy before going social
Going social is not about creating an account on every social media channel there is. The first step is to think about what you want to obtain through social media. Gain new clients? Get to know your existing clients? Learn how people feel about your brand? Inspire people with your ideas? Sell more products? Hire new colleagues?
When you've decided on your social media goals, it is time to pick your channels. Pick them wisely. Every channel has its own identity and its own audience, so choose them according to your goal.
Thou shalt get to know thy medium
To follow up on the previous commandment: get to know all the social media channels and their audiences. We want to avoid making rookie mistakes like posting the exact same content on every channel. Customise your posts according to the channel. What works for one channel won't work for the other. So no hashtags on Facebook. They're pointless.
To get you started, here are a few keywords per channel. We do recommend to dive in deeper and do some further research on the channel(s) of your choice.
- Facebook: reach, specific targeting, conversation, all ages
- Instagram: visual storytelling, mainly <35y
- Twitter: customer service, engage with your audience, drive traffic to your website, all ages
- Snapchat: quick videos or images, to target your younger - and very active - audience (mainly <25)
- LinkedIn: employer branding, hire new colleagues and show what you do, all (working) ages
- Pinterest: inspire, drive traffic to your website or webshop, mainly 25 - 45y
- YouTube: reach, tutorials, use the YouTube fandoms, all ages
Thou shalt use awesome visuals
No, this doesn't mean you should incorporate a funny cat or meme in every post. It does mean that you should think about your visuals. Text-only posts will get you nowhere on Facebook. Visual always gets ranked higher (and video even higher lately), so consider these questions before posting:
- Is the quality high enough? Is the image not pixelated? Is the size right for your purpose?
- Will this visual stop someone while scrolling?
- Does it convey a message / create a certain atmosphere?
- Does this image fit your brand?
- Is there as little text as possible (preferably none) on the image?
Thou shalt embrace negative comments
That's right. Don't delete negative comments. Seriously, don't. Use them as an opportunity to turn the negativity into a positive outcome.
When people post negative comments concerning your products or services, keep the following tips in mind:
- Always respond. Don't let the negativity grow, but deal with it right away (or within 24h). Not only does this prevent the negative comment from escalating, it shows you are hands-on and do not ignore complaints.
- Acknowledge the person's feelings and show your understanding of their reaction.
- Offer a solution and divert to a private conversation where you can learn more about the problem or search for the right solution together.
- --> For example "We're sorry you had this problem / you feel this way. Could you tell us more about this in a private message? We want to find the right solution to your problem. Thanks!"
This shows that you listen to your clients, that you care about their happiness and that you wish to offer solutions in a constructive way. The perfect way to turn an unhappy customer in a happy one or even in a brand ambassador.
Moreover: other fans read the message as well. They see how you handle negative reactions and learn from it. And don't worry, if it's not just a negative reaction but outright trolling, they won't even bother to pay him the attention he's seeking.
Thou shalt not push thy products
Don't use your social media channels as a shop display. You don't like it when people shove products in your face on the streets so don't do the same to your followers online.
Bring some variation to the party. Switch things up and post tips&tricks, inspirational posts (don't overdo the motivational quotes though - every day is a gift, we get it by now), a promotion only for your followers, videos, a behind the scenes, a colleague in the spotlight, a fan in the spotlight, a competition, a giveaway, etc. Keep it interesting for your followers and for yourself. Don't fall in the trap of one-way communication because you'll see those numbers drop lower than shawty on a regular Friday night.
Create atmosphere, be creative with your products and interact with your followers. Be human.
That's all, folks. Go forth and get social (and call us maybe if we can help you or your business).
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