Social media and its applications for business are on everybody’s minds these days. In fact, the speculation, over-promise of return and unnecessary aura of it can be exhausting. Its application is no magic bullet for success, nor lack of its application a precursor to failure. It is simply a new mechanism to communicate, allowing businesses to interact personally (and openly) with their customers. And just like other mechanisms of communication, it is used poorly by many and quite successfully by few. Just for fun, here are a few basic tips to keep in mind.
If you want to do it, do it.
What we often communicate to clients is that if they are curious, just jump in and do it. (With one caveat: it can take over your life if you let it.) You won’t break anything and in order to be successful, you need to wade in, understand it and determine how you want it to live within your overall communications. And the best way to make it happen, is just to make it happen.
Be true to your brand.
Don’t give responsibility for social communications to the summer intern. Someone who knows, understands and can speak the language of your brand needs to be responsible. Posting photos of the Lady Gaga concert may not be true to the brand identity you’ve crafted since your business began. This is not to say it shouldn’t be fun. It should be as open and fun as the personality of your product/brand.
Keep it simple.
Don’t make people work to understand and enjoy your presence. Twitter recognized very early that in order for its social platform to work, it has to be simple. So, they make you keep it simple, and you should apply this across any of the networks you participate in.
Make it about them, not you.
Nobody “likes” a person or a business that talks only about themselves. Post and be proud of accomplishments, but make sure that you are projecting a steady stream of what is interesting to your target audiences. What will be interesting and entertaining to those who have chosen to like and follow you? If the content you create is boring and/or only interesting to you, be prepared to have a lonely existence in social media land.
Social media means audience participation.
If people are interacting with your social media presence, that’s a good thing. It’s inherently a conversation, not just a stage – and it’s a conversation that others will overhear. If you take criticism for your product or service, be prepared to respond in a meaningful, transparent way.
Commit to it and keep it updated.
Nothing in the realm of social media can survive it if is not changing. When someone links to your Facebook page and sees that your last post was six months ago, it communicates that you are not involved in this communication (and/or savvy enough to appreciate it). If you do it, keep doing it. Like anything, it takes time to build success and a community, but it will happen if you apply even a little commitment.
There is no magic to social media, nor is there a need to communicate in a different way than who you are. Just be your brand self and have fun.