Originally published on LinkedIn.com on February 24, 2016 By Cath Pascual
Most businesses have this misconception about using social media: Instant gratification. You post. You get the word out there. Then you wait for new customers. It’s understandable that businesses want to get immediate results. But if you’ll look closer (get educated properly), you’ll understand that it is so much more than that. Every activity you do on social media should be aligned with an overall social media strategy.
Here’s an example:
RationStation is a food company that’s about to sets up a few social media accounts to market its products. They began posting content and immediately expect to gain followers in droves.
This mentality, while it is understandable, is wrong. Why? Because it’s never that simple. You must know if the content you put out there is actually helping the brand.
How to Do Social Media the Right Way
Managing an effective social media account is similar to throwing a house party. It’s your job to:
- Keep your guests entertained
- Maintain a fun, interesting atmosphere ( theme, if you may call it)
How will you do that?
- Have a concrete plan (if you need to put timelines just to make sure everything runs smoothly, do it)
- Be open-minded (not the networking kind)
- Give your undivided attention to your guests (you only have eyes for them)
- Watchtowers When Doing Social Media
Mold your presence around your audience. How? Get to know them. Learn about their:
b. Location (where they are)
c. Occupation (what they do)
d. Online Activity (what social sites do they visit)
Remember that if you know your audience, you can find your voice. And if you can find your voice, you can reach your audience.
This is your brand’s representation of the online community. Spread the type of content that will:
- Mirror your brand’s taste and image
- Drive conversation
- Establish a consistent style for your brand
You need your audience to be comfortable. Social media is a powerful tool to make your audience feel good about communicating with your brand.
Note: Never (I mean never), use social media to sell your brand or your products alone.
Content alone won’t let you win your audience. Your brand should also do these to achieve customer loyalty:
- Tell a story (one that your audience can relate to)
- Build a connection to your audience
- Channel emotions (humanize your brand)
- Let your audience get a glimpse of what’s behind the brand
- Share relevant news and updates
- Share photos (your employees, facilities, a typical Friday night chillout)
- Get feedback from your audience
- Acknowledge occasions and holidays
There is a difference between engaging your audience and overloading them with content. It’s okay to do off-schedule posting – but not too often. There’s a big chance you might bombard them with content and turn them off. But you also don’t want to go radio-silent either.
Get to know your audience. Treat them as a potential friend. The key is to sound approachable as possible.
- Ask questions
- Start discussions (FGDs work too)
- Respond to your audience
Note: Add CTAs or Call-To-Action statements. It could be in the form of submitting a photo or anything that you see fit to your brand’s goals.
Now that we’re able to cover the important bases for your brand’s social media presence, it’s time to define your voice and make an impact in the online community.