Social media is now an intrinsic part of any modern business. Getting it right can mean more enquiries, more conversions and a good relationship with your customer base. Get it wrong, and the whole world will know about it, and you could lose valued customers.
So what exactly makes a good social media strategy? Diving into social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest without a clear approach can lead to a virtual car crash. You need to set clear goals and objectives, and have ways of measuring your success on each platform. Of course, each business is different and each company targets a varied audience, but there are some general tips for effective social media practice.
Create buyer personas
Social media is always about targeting the right people with the right dialogue. To do this, you need to fully understand your audience and learn what they like to see online. Creating a buyer persona for each of your ideal customers will help you create your social media posts. Ask questions such as how old are they? What do they do for a living? What do they do in their spare time?
Check out the competition
As well as connecting with your customers, social media is great for seeing what your competition is up to. All profiles and pages are public, so use this opportunity to see what similar companies are using social media to achieve. Take a look at what posts have high engagement, what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes a competitor’s social media page can offer inspiration, or you can take a similar idea and improve on it. Don’t forget that you also want to be ahead of the game when it comes to your competitors, so you’ll need to think of original ideas too.
How often should we be posting?
This is a question many business owners cling onto, but isn’t that important. There isn’t really a golden figure for the amounts of posts you should be putting out. It totally depends on the platform, the type of business and how much useful and relevant content you have to share. For example, don’t just create a post for the sake of it – make sure it will interest your followers. You also don’t want to overwhelm your followers with multiple posts a day and spam their newsfeed – there’s a fine line.
How should we respond to negative comments?
You’ve probably seen a number of PR disasters caused by an online feud between a customer and a business. Not only is this unprofessional, but washing your dirty laundry in public NEVER ends in favour of the company. Negative feedback on social media has become a real problem for businesses, but remember that you can never please everybody. Make sure you have a company policy for dealing with negative comments, in the same way you deal with complaints. Apologise, offer a solution, and most of all encourage them to contact a customer services department or email a manager so the whole conversation isn’t public.