What you should and shouldn’t do on social media.
Every marketing agency in the country advises their clients that they must have a digital presence. It is essential, companies are told, to have your name appearing regularly on the main social media platforms, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
The vast majority of times, agencies will take over the function of posting items on these platforms and the client may or may not be involved. However, the target audience, the client’s customers and prospects, assume they are reading the words of the company, not a junior social media executive at an agency.
With this in mind, all posts need to follow some kind of etiquette because the words that are used and the messages that are sent out represent the business and can make all the difference between a company having a good or bad reputation and even gaining or losing clients.
So here are three simple rules to follow:
- Never focus all your attention on one network. You may have someone in your business who ‘loves’ Facebook or prefers Google+ but the key factor here is what is best for your client. Carry out a bit of research to find where their customers and prospects mainly interact with social media and target those areas. It might be great for an agency to show that they posted 3,000 Tweets in a year or published 20 Pulse items but – apart from visibility/presence – the point is how effective are those postings? Interaction and engagement are vital and if you are posting and posting and posting with no response you do need to question whether you are merely Tweeting to yourself and a couple of your contacts.
- Stay clear of politics. Your customers are not really interested in what you think of Donald Trump or, even, whether you voted to leave or remain in the European Union. They WILL be interested in what you think leaving the EU might do to your market sector or whether a blatantly pro-business US President could be good news for your company and others you interact with. But making political – or even personal – attacks against individuals (or political parties) can a) alienate potential customers who just happen to hold the opposite view and b) affect how seriously people take you and, therefore, diminish the respect they have for your company. It should go without saying that your postings should never be offensive, including using swear words (or even hinting at them with the use of asterisks to replace certain letters). This is a key point to get across to your (probably young) agency and – if you don’t trust that they will never make you look bad – it might pay for you to approve every social media posting that they send out just as you would approve a press release or an article. Better still, appoint a professional agency that you know you can trust.
- Finally, there may be times when your postings generate some negative comments from the various people out there who seem to exist purely to have a dig and question the veracity of something you have said. The golden rule here is to react in a calm way. Whether it is you or your agency posting the response, make sure that it makes your organisation look like a specialist outfit that welcomes input and not like a fiercely defensive body that will not abide any criticism. If you stay calm and collected and the complainant continues to rant, anyone reading the exchange will see that you are the professional one.
Of course, like most things in the digital world, these rules are not set in stone and it can be fun sometimes to bend them a little, but as general guidelines you won’t really go wrong if you follow them.
To find out more on social media and how it can help your business please contact us on 01785 247588 or click here.