You got yourself a [enter social media platform here] account, now what? If you’re new to the world of social media and how it relates to business, keep reading. I can help to clear the confusion; getting you started on the right track and managing your social media accounts.
Managing Your Social Media Accounts
Your first instinct might be to list all your goods or services and their prices, or to tell the world how absolutely fabulous you are and why people should be beating down your door to do business with you. Fight that instinct and take a step back. How do you like to be marketed to? Do you like it when salespeople get in your face and berate you into purchasing something? If you’re like me, probably not. If people want to know your services or products, they’ll visit your store or website – but first they need to know you exist and that’s what social media is for. Social media is the platform to get the word out that you exist and to be social with people, to show them that you’re people too!
Steps to get you started:
- Take a look at the accounts of companies in your field, see how they’re using it and formulate a plan. Different platforms will require different approaches and your plans should reflect that.
- Establish a schedule and stick to it. Clients don’t want to look at your Facebook account only to find that nothing new has been posted for 2 months. Try to make posting a regular part of your schedule and, depending on the platform, frequent. You can post to Twitter and Facebook daily but YouTube and Tumblr blogs would be less frequent.
- Use the platform to connect with clients. Answer any questions they may have, solve any problems they might be encountering with your business and commit to a sense of community. Always show sympathy, openness and camaraderie with clients and the public – it will serve you well for the future.
- Post content that will further promote your expertise in the field, whether it’s a review on a trending topic or tips and tricks for clients. Don’t worry that you’re giving away free information; once people see that you know what you’re talking about, they will have more confidence in your abilities.
- Initially, limit talking about yourself and your company. Instead focus on your field, other experts, trending news and products. Start conversations with followers about them and their interests. It’s like making new friends; nobody wants to be friends with the guy who just talks about himself all the time.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your field. It shows confidence in yourself and your abilities and it show that you’re friendly. The world is a big marketplace with places for everyone in it.
- Utilize a social media aggregator to help streamline your social media accounts. It can get time consuming when you need to log into each account numerous times daily (admit it, it’s addictive to see what’s happening). Some of the most popular aggregators are Tweetdeck (available through Google Chrome), Hootsuite and Argyle Social. Again, it all depends on the platforms you’re using and what you’ll need the aggregator for.
- Make sure your website is social media friendly. If you’re using a Content Management System such as WordPress or Joomla! to maintain your site, install a plugin that will automatically install a customizable widget on your site with buttons for every social media platform you use. Make sure to keep the StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Digg, Reddit and Mixx buttons. These are social media bookmarking sites that you don’t need to have accounts for but will allow their users to recommend your site with fellow users. It’s a great way to get more traffic to your site and potentially more customers.
- Make sure to use the spell check and check for broken links. If you’re re-posting a link or story, be sure to check it out and make certain that it’s something you want your company to be associated with. Titles can be misleading and it’s always best to be too careful when dealing with your reputation and credibility.
Ultimately it will take time for you to become comfortable with your account and your role as a social media manager. If you’re unsure about what you’ll be posting, get a colleague or friend to read it over. A lot of people view the internet as something frivolous but ultimately your social media account is a representation of your company, reputation and credibility. Managing your social media account will ensure that you’re putting your best face forward.