Tips for using Social Media

Anyone you talk to about business, digital marketing, or available technology will tell you that you need to use social media to grow.

Not everyone tells you how to use it though.
And to be honest, there are no hard and fast rules.

If you want it to work though, you MUST be disciplined and regular in your communications.
The content and information that you impart via social media needs to be useful to them, not you.

Here are some tips to start using social media on the right foot.

Tip 1. Choose the right networks.
Don’t spread the word too much, make sure the networks on which you are active are the ones that your customers are too. The best network for your business is the one on which you will be able to develop a trusted presence.

Tip 2. Research, and observe.
What are the sorts of conversations to which your business can contribute?  What sorts of topics get the best responses, and compel people to share freely?
Who is most active, and are they the sort of contacts you can start conversations with?

Tip 3. Watch your tone.
Don’t pitch, just talk.  This is not ‘push’ advertising, but rather the ability to build up awareness in a particular space for when potential customers are looking for someone just like you. The key lies in building credibility, being consistently helpful, and showing respect for the people with whom you are connected.

Tip 4. Respond fast.
Should a complaint or negative comment emerge, deal with it, and deal with it fast. It might be that a customer has attempted to make contact through regular channels, like the phone, but has been stumped without any solution. If they go online to complain, it is out there for the world to see. It becomes a fantastic opportunity to make a bad situation good, and a great way to be seen as a customer-service hero.

Tip 5. Be insanely consistent.
It’s hard to emit the same message and brand personality if you don’t know what it is.  Know the core of your brand, inside and out, and make sure that all of your communications, especially on social media, reflect that. Build an expectation from your online network, create a persona of validity and credibility. And keep it real. Connections can see through flaky and inconsistent communications in a heartbeat.

Tip 6. Tell stories.
True stories that is, not tall tales. Every business has stories of customers, of successes, of situations that could have gone bad, but were saved, of special staff members, of where the business came from … get the picture? Social media is about connecting, about being real and personable, about being people.

Tip 7. Be patient.
Nothing happens fast in the world of social media. Commit to a plan, and be prepared to see it through for a number of months.  Having said that, review what is connecting and creating conversations more effectively and tweak your topics. Turn conversations into marketing opportunities, but do it with patience, style and endurance.

Social media can display your business on myriad platforms, on a global scale. It is nothing to be flippant about, and from a business perspective, it needs to be controlled.
Follow these tips and make it work for you, and your business.

If you need any help in starting off 2014 with a brand new social media strategy, just contact us at WhiteSpace Digital.