Social media is everywhere. Without a presence on multiple platforms, you are probably missing out on a huge (and often free) marketing channel. Utilising the different platforms correctly can allow you to communicate with a huge consumer base, creating new sales channels, enhancing customer service, improving product innovation and even encourage customer loyalty.
According to Forrester research, 75% of internet users use social media. This figure is growing. With Facebook alone now having over 1 billion users, social media is no longer solely associated with the public relations and marketing department, but is intrinsic to the overall strategy of a business.
So how do you implement a good plan? There a hundreds of guides, how-tos, blog posts and even companies who boast best social media practices. And maybe they are good. Maybe they aren’t.
Here are a couple of tips.
1. Know your audience and know your brand. Every platform attracts slightly different users.
These overlap, of course, but understanding these differences is vitally important.
2. Ask not what your customers can do for you, but what you can do for them. Service is everything. You SHOULD NOT approach social media thinking, ‘I want,’ or ‘I need said amount of followers, likes, reposts’, but instead ‘what do they want’, or ‘how can I best serve them’. Only with this attitude will you find success.
3. Know your platform. There are constant changes on social media platforms, so you need to stay on your feet. Whether it’s knowing the correct size for a profile picture, or the actually technique for interacting with the platform, you need to stay up-to-date. This way you will not only show that you are ‘on the ball’, but also make sure you get the most out of your campaigns.
4. Be consistent. Have a plan, however big or small, that spans across all the platforms. This consistency must be in line with your brand and company image. Say you are a high-tech software company; you want your tweets, posts and blogs to reflect this. This tweet is probably NOT something you would want to use: ‘OMG, look at this fab piece of software, #fml, it’s wonderful’. However, if your market was student-based, then perhaps it would be.
5. Lastly, don’t be scared to be innovative. If you are a design company, Pinterest and Instagram are a no-brainer. But what about if you are that high-tech software company? Would a pin board social media platform suit your brand? At first glance, perhaps not. But then, maybe it would. What if you decided to show users that you are not just top of your game in software, but you know good hardware? You are expansive and clever and know exactly what’s going on. So perhaps having pin boards of your favourite high-tech discoveries and developments might actually be a good idea. Pushing boundaries is what social media is all about.