Tips for Starting Your Journey in Social Media for Business
Today, social media is becoming ubiquitous at home and in business. Large and small companies alike are trying to take advantage of this evolving platform. Whether you’re a social media novice or a pro, here are some good principles to follow when launching social media for business:
1. STAY COMMITTED: A strong social media presence takes time. Think of it as relationship building — the more you converse, the more meaningful your connection becomes.
2. WHO’S IN CHARGE? Your organization should have a clear understanding of who is leading your social media strategy — HR, marketing, sales? Social media must be a key part of the communication mix (versus a project to work on whenever there is extra time).
3. SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY: Employees are inextricable representatives of your company’s brand online both on personal and company time. Ensure employees have a clear understanding of your corporate social media policy. Here is an example of IBM’s social media guidelines.
4. BUILD YOUR STRATEGY: Beyond service or product updates, post information that your followers will find beneficial such as breaking industry news, and insight into emerging trends. Through the conversing process, always consider your intellectual contributions.
5. CROWDSOURCING: A buzzword formed in 2006, crowdsourcing allows you to cost-effectively tap into your social media audience to uncover business insights. Take advantage of this concept, be it an informal research survey or even a call-out for industry expertise.
6.TIMING IS KEY: Reserve at least three different times throughout the day to log-on, respond to questions, post comments and interact. Show your audience that you are present and connected with them.
7. GET THE CEO INVOLVED: Some of the most recognized CEOs are fully engaged on Twitter, directly communicating with their audience and demonstrating their personal touch behind their corporate brand. Here are some of the most active CEO’s on Twitter.
8. THINK “VISUALS”: Add pictures and videos to your Twitter and Facebook feeds. Images from a recent trade show, pictures of an upcoming product launch or company event add a nice balance of content and colour for your followers.
9. QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY: Social media is not simply about how many ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ your company has, but rather how meaningful the interactions are with them. For example, studies show whether you have 500 or 50 friends on Facebook, your most meaningful interactions still circle around a core group of about 12 people.
10. MEASUREMENT: Attach clear measurable goals to your social media strategy. How is it supporting your HR needs, PR outreach or customer service quality? Connect those efforts to the bottom line to build value among senior management.