With everybody taking to social networks these days, we’ve noticed some particularly brilliant campaigns which use some innovative social media strategies. We’ve also noticed some dreary, dreadful campaigns which commit all the worst social media sins.
It’s actually quite simple to run an effective social media campaign. How you tailor it to suit your business is down to your ingenuity and the adaptability of your brand, but there’s a fairly decent framework for you to work around which should nudge you in the right direction and prevent you from falling into the fiery chasm of social media faux pas from the comfort of your leather reclining sofa.
We’ve listed the top ten things you absolutely must do on your social network account, and then we’ve listed the top ten things which you absolutely must not do on any of your Twitter or Facebook presences.
Get yourself a free Yasni Exposé. Social media has exploded over the last few years, and controlling how you appear to others can be a tricky job. A free Yasni Exposé makes this a lot easier, since people searching for you online will be directed to the Exposé managed by you – meaning that they see the best web links, search results and social media profiles that give off a great impression.
Update regularly. There’s nothing sadder than a desolate, sparsely populated Twitter account. It looks like it’s been forgotten and has the same repelling effect as a shabby shop front or a pub with broken windows.
Post relevant stuff. Don’t drivel on about personal things if it isn’t directly relevant to the business – when I sign up to your Twitter feed or add you on Facebook, I want to hear about news and special offers, not what the PR girl saw on the train this morning.
Post all your special offers on social media. We’re a captive audience, and your little 140 character message is being beamed to our computers and telephones in real time. Make sure you expose us to everything we might find interesting.
Engage in conversation. That’s half the point of things like Twitter and Facebook – you’re not just broadcasting, you’re also interacting with your customer base and making yourself known to other groups. Social media isn’t a one-way street.
Personalise your page. There’s no excuse for a default Facebook picture, or a plain Twitter page. Every social network allows you to customise the look of your online presence at least to a degree – use this to make your brand look friendly and professional.
Respond quickly to correspondence. It’s instant communication, so don’t delay. Answer questions as soon as you can, and involve other media if it makes things clearer. Sending a response back will impress not just that one customer, but everybody who sees the exchange take place.
Use plenty of photographs. Provided they’re interesting, we like to see how things work. Especially if they’re photos of an unusual machine or process, or if the subject matter is pretty. This works well in manufacturing businesses, but anything tangible can be shown on social media.
Seek out comment and interactions from your followers. Ask them for advice on a certain product, feedback about one of your own services or even details of their experience with competitors. People talk more readily on social media than they do in real life.
Check for spam. Other people will try to publish their stuff on your page without your consent, which can make your feed look very tatty and badly maintained. Regularly check to make sure all the comments are genuine and not peddling somebody else’s product.
Lie. Under no circumstances say untruths anywhere on the internet – they’ll come back to bite you. Even if you only have a few hundred followers, it only takes one person to spot your fibs and you’re the laughing stock of Reddit or something. Honesty is the best policy.
Sledge your opposition. That’s not what social media is for, and it doesn’t look at all good. It normally comes across as petty and unprofessional, and there are far better ways of appearing better than your competitors anyway.
Be aggressive towards anybody. Even if somebody behaves in an unpleasant manner to you, don’t rise to their bait and definitely don’t get your brand involved in a slanging match. It looks very childish and the rest of your followers will think you’re as daft as each other.
Ignore people. Even if they’ve been saying unfavourable stuff, or if they raise uncomfortable questions, it’s better to engage with them and smooth things over than let them stew. It only takes 140 characters to make things calm down.
Swear. There’s no need to use bad language – it never goes down well and you risk alienating far more people than you impress. Swearing is uncool and doesn’t give the impression that you conduct yourself well as a brand.
Hard sell every post. You basically become another spammer if everything you say is about a product. You need to be interesting and engaging, providing your customers with insight and offers rather than just ad after ad.
Let your brand stagnate. Social media is always adapting and you need to ride those changes. It’s easy to get stuck in the past when the future keeps rushing past us, so be the first to take up a new social network.
Whinge. Your customers need you to be fairly upbeat and positive. Anything else will damage your brand credibility and might lose you followers – nobody likes a misery, and it’s very easy to unfollow you. Even if times are hard, put on a brave face.
Neglect your social media for more than a couple of hours. You need to be constantly looking at the relevant trends, not to mention fielding questions and giving your followers the information they signed up for. Maximise your online contact time.
Use this list as a checklist and ignore other factors. We’re just here to explain to you the very basics of what you must and mustn’t do, but you know your business better than we do. Your online survival depends on your ability to adapt quickly.