You’ve probably heard it a million times already: your company needs to be on social media. But what’s the right way to do it? Most articles about businesses on social media concern marketing techniques. This article is about the art of perfecting your social media page in the first place.
What’s your demographic?
The average age of the people who use your products or services is something you should already know. After all, it’s key to defining your target market, which will you help you in all areas of your business. But having this data to hand here will be useful in determining how you’re going to go forward with this. For example, if your audience is mostly in the 18-30 age range, then you should probably be investing a lot in this process. That’s because you’ll have a greater concentration of fans who are already using social media!
The social media platforms you should use
Business owners are always trying to find the best social media platforms to use. It’s actually gotten to a point where a better question might be “what platforms should I avoid?”. This, of course, has a much simpler answer: if people haven’t heard of it, then you should probably ignore it. As for the big names, you should be getting company accounts on all of them. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr… the lot. Even Myspace might still be worth looking into.
Knowing how to get followers
For some, it seems obvious that followers can attract more followers. But how do you get the first few followers in the first place? What you need to do at first is make sure you fill your pages with content. Good, relevant content will make it easier for people to find you on search engines. You should also start including links or references to your social media accounts on your advertising. Your website should also include social media widgets as soon as you’ve set up the relevant accounts.
Check your demographics again!
Once you’ve got a few hundred or thousand followers, you may want to reassess your online fanbase. Let’s say that your initial demographic check showed that most of the people investing in your product or service are young adults. But on your social media pages, it seems that you have much older people following you. This should point you to one of two conclusions. One: you need to focus on how to keep people of that particular age range interested. Two: you may need to reassess how you’re advertising if the bulk of your fans aren’t following you!
Remember the apps
The social media names you often hear about are usually browser-based. But that doesn’t mean that’s where all your focus should be. Remember that most people engage in social media through their mobile phones. And mobile phones have plenty of social media apps for platforms that don’t exist on browsers.
One of the biggest names in this area is Snapchat. Business owners may be wondering how exactly this app can help their business. After all, isn’t it just something people use to send photos to each other that they don’t want others seeing? It seems way too personal for businesses to get anything out of it. But Snapchat has shown itself to be an amazing business asset because it’s one of the best ways to share content. And with Snapchat geofilters for any event, it’s easier to create new and interesting content than ever.
Tending to a community
With social media becoming a big thing in your company’s plans, you’ll probably need to look into specialized employees. Many business owners feel that they can deal with the everyday social media management themselves. But once you start getting into several platforms and dealing with thousands of users, this gets much trickier.
Not only do you have to deal with creating all the content for each platform; you also have to spend a lot of time interacting with fans. Eventually, it makes much more sense to hire a social media community manager to deal with this kind of stuff.
Dealing with memes
So, when it comes to engaging with a social media audience you have quite a few options. One of the most popular ways of doing this in modern business is through the use of Internet memes. The world of Internet memes is a contentious and controversial world. It takes quite a lot of nuance to wield these as a business without appearing like you’re “trying too hard”.
Many companies have attempted to use memes to their advantage, and not always with great results. My advice? If you’re going to use a customized meme, then show it to an internal “test audience” first. If it gets a giggle out them, go for it. In general, though, you’ll want to limit your use of them.
Getting involved with celebrities
It’s not often that companies actually engage in a conversation with celebrities over social media. If a celebrity is responding to you in a positive way, then people will probably assume that you’re paying them to do so. So if that isn’t the case, then what good is a celebrity to your social media image? It’s all about timing.
If a celebrity is a hot topic at a given point, and if you interact with their social media account in a way that’s relevant to your business? Then you could be in for some good publicity. It usually comes in the form of a good joke. Kanye West usually makes himself a pretty good target for this kind of thing. Feast your eyes on Pizza Hut’s interaction with Kanye after his bizarre social media behavior earlier this year.
Responding to your fans and customers
One of the downsides that business owners sometimes cite about social media is that people try to turn it into a customer service portal. When someone has a problem, they’re likely to use tweets to contact you instead of through the usual direct emails or phone calls. But you shouldn’t see this as a bad thing. In fact, it’s an opportunity to give your customers a more personal brand experience. You get to show off your great customer service to the world!
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