Get social media right and you’ll likely see your brand’s online reputation soar; get it wrong and your brand is bound to suffer obscurity forever. And that’s the best thing that can happen if you get social media wrong. If you’re luck has really run out, getting social media wrong could give your brand a highly negative online reputation and you can say bye-bye to your hopes of achieving online success.
You may think the job of a social media manager is easy. All you need to do is create a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a YouTube channel for your company, and then sit back as the conversations start rolling in, right? Wrong. There are a lot of factors that could affect the way your brand performs on social media, which makes it necessary for you to work on several components to ensure social media success.
To help you along and get you on the right track towards social media success, here are some tips you’d do well to keep in mind:
- Quality versus Quantity
One of the first things you should learn before jumping into social media marketing (SMM) is the difference between quality and quantity. Do you want to get as many followers and subscribers as possible in very little time? Or do you want to make sure most of your followers are those who have expressed interest, one way or another, in what you have to offer? Which do you think offers the biggest advantage to your business? Plenty of followers who may or may not appreciate what you have to offer, or a few well-targeted followers?
In most cases, it’s best to ensure quality over quantity because not all customers can be considered your ideal customer. Before you start worrying about your social media strategy and reputation, therefore, you should first define who your target audience is. Find out which social networking sites they frequent and what types of content they regularly consume. This allows you to target your social media campaign to your ideal customers.
- Two Ears, One Mouth
A lot of brands fail in their bid to achieve social media success simply because they talk too much and listen too little (or don’t listen at all). Never forget that we were given two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk. This is especially important on social media, where people expect to interact with brands, not just get the usual sales pitch.
If you don’t interact with your audience, and if you don’t respond to their comments or answer any of their questions, how can you expect them to continue following you and patronizing your brand? People generally prefer brands that truly care about their needs and on social media, caring for their needs is best manifested by listening to their feedback and addressing their concerns.
Listening to your audience also comes with the advantage of letting you know where your content marketing strategy should be headed. Feedback lets you know what the general mood is about your brand and adjust accordingly.
- Find a Shoe that Fits
Just because everyone you know is on Facebook and Twitter, doesn’t mean you should focus on those two social networking sites where your SMM efforts are concerned. And just because there are so many popular social media platforms, doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them. In fact, SMM is where the adage, “less is more” is highly applicable. Managing social media accounts for business purposes can be a daunting task, especially if you’re just starting your SMM campaign. It’s best to adopt a “one-bite-at-a-time” approach.
Consider your buyer personas (your ideal customers) once again to determine which social networking sites they frequent. These are the sites where you stand the best chance of establishing a strong social media presence. There may be more people on Facebook and Twitter, but if more of your ideal customers are on Instagram, then that’s where you should be as well, right?
Instead of trying to do well on every social media platform you know of, choose a few platforms your target audience regularly visits and start your social media campaign there. Flickr.com photo by Khalid Albaih
As your brand’s popularity grows and you get used to moving around in the world of social media, you could set up accounts in other sites that aren’t too targeted, just to widen your reach. That is one of the best things about social media – you can make adjustments as you go along to improve your performance.
- Establish a Game Plan
In whatever you do, it is always advisable to have a solid plan in place. Your plan will help you ensure there’s always a method to your social media strategies, regardless of how many social platforms you choose to use. Of course, your plan will vary, depending on the specific platforms you use and the demographics you’re targeting. What’s important is for you to keep your SMM goals and purposes in mind as you craft the plan.
One thing that should be an integral part of your social media plan is the kind of content you are going to post. Bear in mind that a business account is different from your personal social media accounts. Therefore, you should never handle them in the same way. In managing a business account, your posts should focus more on what your target audience cares about, rather than what you deem important.
- Prepare Your Toolkit
The world of social media can indeed be overwhelming, especially if you have to manage several accounts for your company. This is why it is often very helpful to use tools that keep your accounts organized. Here are some of the best social media management tools that can help keep you from committing mistakes that can have some serious repercussions for your company:
Hootsuite – If you want to have the ability to monitor all your social media accounts on a single dashboard, then this is an excellent tool for you. You can keep track of developments on the various platforms you use and take action as necessary.
IFTTT – The name of this tool is taken from the “If This, Then That” concept, which is where it is modeled from. You simply need to tell the system what you want it to do and it will do that until you change the settings. For example, you could set it to send you a notification email whenever someone posts a comment on any of your social media posts. This helps ensure that comments, questions, and complaints are addressed in a timely manner.
Buffer – This tool links all of your social media accounts together and allows you to add as many posts as you want and then set them for posting on a specific schedule. It can be an excellent tool for streamlining your social media efforts.
Some tools may be promoted as better than another and new tools may crop up at any time, but what’s important is for you to find the tool (or tools) that best meets your social media management needs and use that to your advantage. You don’t have to make social media management more complicated than it already is. In fact, you can and should find ways to make it easier.
- Teamwork is Key
If one of your organs fails, your whole body suffers, right? In the same way, if the members of your organization do not work in a cooperative manner, the entire organization will suffer. You may be the only social media manager in your company, but that doesn’t mean you should handle everything concerning social media on your own. Remember that your social media accounts cannot stand on their own.
You cannot engage your audience in meaningful conversation unless you post relevant content on your social media pages. This requires you to work closely with your content creators. And when some of your customers complain about something that requires legal action, you’ll have to coordinate with your legal department as to how you should address the complaint. Developing an excellent working relationship with other departments in the organization helps you ensure that your SMM campaigns will always run smoothly.
Even if you aren’t the designated social media manager, it still pays to gain at least some basic knowledge on how to manage social media accounts for business purposes. There may come a time when you’ll have to take over social media duties for whatever reason; it’s best to be prepared.
Aside from keeping the above tips in mind, you’d also do well to take your cue from companies that are currently doing very well on social media. People just love commenting on their pages and sharing their content, so they must be doing something right. Observe their strategies and draw inspiration from them.
Take heart as well in the knowledge that social media is always evolving, which means there’s always something new for you to learn each day. So don’t be intimidated if you’re starting late in the game. Rather, learn from those who’ve gone before you as you chart your own course towards social media success. As long as you do things right, no matter how late in the game you start, you can still win.