Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seven things TO do when it comes to Social Media

Yesterday, we did part one of this two-part series: Seven things NOT to do in regards to Social Media.  Here's part two: Seven things you absolutely SHOULD do in regards to Social Media.

1.  Create a company page:  Virtually every Social Media platform has an opportunity for you to create a formal business presence.  An important marketing point here: make sure that your branding (logos, messages, colors, etc) all match across platforms.

2.  Create fresh, interesting content:  No one wants to read Social Media that just promotes the creator.  Social Media must create value-added content - in other words, it must give the reader knowledge, information or insight that they wouldn't have otherwise.  Examples include:

  • Tips, advice, how-tos.  
  • Exclusive discounts/promotions that aren’t available anywhere else.
  • Share funny stories.
  • Show people the faces behind your company.

3.  Track Return on Investment:  Virtually every Social Network allows you to track ROI.  However, what ROI you track depends on why you are using Social Media - different metrics can track different objectives.  Regardless of what you track, you should absolutely track something.

4.  Create a Social Media policy:  Regardless of it your business has a presence on Social Media, your employees like have personal page's - which means that you need a Social Media Policy.  Items that should be addressed include:

  • What can and can’t an employee say on Social Media?
  • Can an employee use Social Media during work hours?
  • What are your employees recommended privacy settings?
  • Can you discuss work at all?  If so, in what form?
  • Who runs the company’s Social Media?
5.  Set up monitoring tools:  Google Alerts, Yacktrack and Hootsuite can help you keep track of who is saying what about you.  They enable you to get E-mails or alerts when certain keywords, entered by you, are used on various networks.  As such, they can be invaluable for customer service or research.

6.  Conduct sales research:  LinkedIn and Facebook profiles both have a bevy of personal information that can be invaluable, especially if you are going on a sales call.  Before you go on any such meeting, make sure to check out your appointments Social Media info - see what you can learn and how you can leverage that information.

7.  Be casual and personal:  No one wants a business robot on Social Media.  People like to connect with brands and businesses that are professional, but also personal.  For example, on the Chamber's Facebook page, I just made a joke about holding a matchmaking mixer for single business owners (it makes sense in context, I swear).  The point is that people want to see the face behind the business - don't be afraid to show it!

Those are our tips for Social Media - what are yours?  Let us know in the comments!

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