Last week we discussed the 5 Don’ts of Social Media. We highlighted on such items as “don’t focus on the number of fans and followers you have” or “don’t forget to set your privacy settings.” On that note, you should really check your privacy settings! Facebook is constantly changing their policies and might switch something on as some of these found out!
This week, we wanted to focus on the positives. We’ll call it, “The 5 Do’s of Social Media!” I know, it’s quite original. Read along and enjoy!
1) Do Know Your Social Media Brand
Knowing your target community is easy. Knowing yourself and your brand can sometimes be difficult and requires some reflection. Ask yourself a few simple questions:
Who am I for my target community?
In social media, you’re contributing your self and your knowledge to one or two key groups of people. Analyze how these communities currently perceive you and then create how you want them to perceive you. If your brand interacts with thousands of people regularly, shifting this perception can take a very long time. However, if you’re new to social media, create your brand and run with it! For example, “We are the travel agency that people in Colorado go to first.” or “When people want to learn how to bake amazing bread, I’m here to make it easy.”
What is my identity?
Just like you have a personality and a set of tastes, so does your company brand. Decide what your brand’s personality is. Are you funny and light-hearted? Direct and knowledgeable? Sharp and witty? You can even ask yourself silly questions like, “What is your company’s favorite ice cream flavor?” or “If my brand were an animal, what would it be?”
What do I say?
This is often the first question people ask us, and it usually causes us to backtrack to the previous two questions. Since we answer this a lot, here’s the simple answer in writing: You’ll never consistently know what to say or how to sound unless you know who you are. Knowing what to say or how to sound doesn’t make Social Media Studio a knowledgeable and fun source for social media. It is because we are knowledgeable and fun that we know what to say to tickle your brain =). Sorry to say, but the real answer to this question depends on you.
2) Do Manage Risk
Setting internal controls is one of the best ways to manage risk. Define what boundaries you are willing to push. For instance: “There is no sex in Social Media Studio!” (This is actually one of our risk management tools). Also, define how you would like to respond to negative things that others may say. If someone says, “I HATE your tacos!” How are going to respond? Do you reach out to that customer that has had a bad experience or do you simply say, “sucks for you!”
Think about what people could say about your brand and then think about how you would address the situation. At some point you will come under fire, but if you are prepared your community will support you.
3) Do Always Follow Up
Using social media platforms can be like checking your email in some ways. When someone interacts with you either by commenting on a post, contributing to your page, or sharing your content, it’s important to follow up. We’ve seen examples of Facebook pages or Twitter profiles where an administrator consistently posts new and informative content every day, but then wonders why interaction levels are low.
Part of this has to do with the lack of energy dedicated to engaging fans who have interacted with content. It is important to continue the conversation with fans who ask questions or talk about your brand just as you would when somebody sends you an inquiry via email. You wouldn’t ignore the message or fail to return a phone call, so why would you leave a comment hanging?
4) Do Go Beyond Your Business!
Your fans and followers are involved with your business because they have some connection with you. Ever asked anyone why they drink Pepsi over Coke? (I’m a Pepsi fan by the way). Both brands have been around for some time, tapping into your daily life some way or another. Consider that some of your fans have had incredible experiences in association with you or your brand. Interact to find out how many of them follow you because of what you stand for, and how many follow you because of your product or service.
In real life you would cultivate this relationship by going beyond business. Do the same online! Find out what your fans and followers are up to. Ask how they are doing or talk about something that may not have to do with anything in your business. And also give them insight into your life. I know when I tell people I used to be a cast member at Disney World they flip. People are then very open to telling me about the awesome trip they just had or the experience they had when they were 2 years old. We built a stronger connection and hopefully that person will remember me because of it.
5) Do Take an interest!
I see my my social media community as just that, a community of friends. I want to know how they are doing and what they are up to. Givers gain goes a long way. When you care about your community of friends they also care about you. If I see that someones B-day is coming up I give them a call or send them B-day wishes. People reveal who they are and what they like on their social networks, all I have to do is take a real interest.
Also, DO Thank your followers. Your followers are people too. Everyone likes to be thanked for their contribution!
If you have any other suggestions for do’s of social media, please leave a comment!