Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace and Snapchat were the preserve of the young and primarily used for sharing images listening to music and keeping in touch.
Now everyone is in on the game from moms, dads, grandparents to businesses. There are many pros and cons to having a social media account. First and foremost, it does result in a certain amount of vulnerability and exposure.
Businesses feel they have to have an account to keep in touch with their clientele, but this can easily backfire if the wrong thing is said or shared or if complaints about services are shared for all to see.
At times it can be hard to keep views and opinions separate from what the business should communicate. But there are ways to keeping things professional, provided you are happy to stick to some basic, fundamental rules:
- Be careful about what you share
Memes are a piece of media, often humorous in nature, that is shared rapidly from person to person often through social media platforms. While you personally may find a meme funny and worth a reshare it doesn’t mean that it should be shared by your business’ social media pages. Yes, memes can help in offering a conversation starter, but some are quite controversial and political in nature. It’s important to consider who your audience is and what their interests are. Think twice before you share that post that made you LOL!
- You should post something regularly
This may sound like an easy task but can be a bit hard to do if you find your day clogged up by other tasks, projects and meetings. Suddenly finding five minutes to alert your fans about your latest insurance offering online can be a hard ask. But to keep your audience engaged it’s vital to create posts on a regular and consistent basis. Decide on whether you want to post once or three times a week and stick to your strategy. Take time out of your busy schedule to create relevant content and then, if you are pressed for time, find ways to schedule out your posts through scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck.
- Talk to your audience - don't ignore them (even if they have said something hurtful)
If your audience engages with you it looks more professional if you answer them back. Social media questions and complaints left unattended can taint your business’ image. Even if you don’t like what your customers are saying it’s vital to give them advice or assurances that you’ll help them with their issue. Remember too that customers can nowadays see how quickly it takes you to respond as social media sites like Facebook openly show the time it takes you to answer comments and queries.
- Use relevant hashtags
You can make sure your content and images become more visible through the use of hashtags. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the hash sign (#). They used predominantly on Twitter to identify messages around a given topic. Don’t recycle hashtags being used by celebrities or other prominent figures – rather makes sure that the hashtags are relevant to your industry.
- Make sure you complete your social profiles
Some social media profiles are quite neglected or sparse. But this is not an area where you should be shy about what you do and what your business can offer. Make sure you fill in your Facebook’s “About” section, your Twitter bio and don’t miss the opportunity to fill in every section on LinkedIn to provide your business audience with a more holistic profile of you and your business. Don’t be shy – talk about your work experience, awards and academic achievements. You’ve earned the right to do so!
If you need some professional advice about your social media profiles, contact us today.