For small and medium enterprises and businesses, having a presence on social media is not just important any more, it is essential!
These businesses need to ensure that they have a strong presence on all social mediums where their customers and clients are present, and that they regularly engage and interact with them through these mediums.
For this purpose, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that these businesses can follow:
DO: Know your customers
Just like in the real world, it is important to know your customers and audience on social media. Identify your target market, know who your audience is on social networking websites, and then (a) use social mediums according to this information, and (b) tailor your content according to it as well.
DO: Have an active presence on all major social mediums
This includes many obvious ones and some not-so-obvious ones, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on. Do a bit of research on what social mediums your potential and existing customers and clientele uses, and make sure that you have an active and engaging presence (more on this in a bit) on all these social networking websites.
DO: Be more engaging and interactive
Notice that we used to words ‘active and engaging’ presence in the point above. Special emphasis and focus needs to be put on these two words. Having a profile on Facebook or Pinterest isn’t enough. You need to be ensure that (a) you are active on these profiles – through posting regular updates and information about your business, and (b) regularly engage and interact with your audience – by asking questions, putting up polls and so on. It is essential to recognize the fact that your customers only care about what you can do for them, so make sure that you post updates that are relevant to them.
DO: Develop a corporate social media policy for the organization
This helps you:
- Define roles – who does what and who’s responsible for posting updates
- Come up with a game-plan for kind of updates to post, as well as ways in which you can interact with and engage your audience.
- What goes up on your social media pages and what is strictly forbidden.
- How employees should conduct themselves on social profiles – both their personal and business profiles.
DO: Be consistent
Use the same name and identity everywhere on the internet so that you’re distinguishable and easy to find. Use the same username (which of course always has to be your business name) for all your business profiles, as well as the same taglines, logos and descriptions. Be consistent throughout.
DO: Fill out all the information properly
Make sure that your profiles are properly and comprehensively filled-out. Things like basic information to proper descriptions, company overview, company information/profile, business specialty, business location, business hours, detailed contact information, website URL, and so on. Be as descriptive and detailed as possible. Put up a proper display picture (ideally your company name and/or logo) and a cover photo as well. Cover photo is prime real-estate for you to use (for advertisements, for instance).
DON’T: Be Controversial
Avoid being controversial or posting content that may be controversial on social media. The last thing that you want to do is offend your customers or clients.
DON’T: Avoid posting photos of people
A large majority of people don’t want their photos to be posted on social media. Avoid posting people photos or tagging people in photos without getting permission from the people in the photos.
DON’T: Don’t just post about about your own self or the business
There’s so much great content to share out there. Don’t be self-absorbed and avoid posting just about your business. Alternate between posting stuff about you as well as other interesting news, stories and updates from the industry – or even completely random stuff that you may think your fans and followers may like. Popular social media pages out there post funny and humorous images and videos on a regular basis.
DO: Post regularly…
But avoid spamming. Yes, it is a good idea to post at the very least one update every week. It keeps your audience engaged and provides your clients and customers a constant reminder of your presence. However posting too many updates or, in other words, spamming your fans and followers should be avoided at all costs, as it may results in people unfollowing your page.
DON”T: Don’t forget to check and proof-read all updates
Proof-read for spelling and grammatical errors, and check your content that you may think might stir up controversy or may be offensive to your fans and followers. What may be funny to some might be offensive for others. Play it safe. And above all, always use proper English!
DO: Use social media to provide help, support and customer service
It is an excellent idea to use social media platforms to post important updates about, for instance down time or holidays, and provide help and support to your customers and clients. It is essential to remember that customer service can make or break your company and it’s image. If you excel here, not only will you convert one-time buyers into loyal customers, you’ll also be able to expand your business through word-of-mouth.