Social media is no longer just an optional tool or resource for businesses to use to help promote their brand, engage with their audience, and build an online presence; it is a necessity. In fact, most businesses are already using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, but there are other platforms to be considered for your business rather than for your personal use such as LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest.
The options are limitless when it comes to what you can post on these platforms. From videos, to images, to links to other content as well as your unique content, what you share online helps you to build your online presence. What some people forget… what you post online under your business’ name will shape people’s opinions about your brand for better or for worse.
Once those opinions have been shaped, they are hard to change and you may have lost, what could have been, a valuable customer.
These 6 best practices are the things we recommend for your business to remember when posting online.
One of the biggest factors of a successful online presence is being present consistently. Once you have begun to develop your presence online, maintain it by regularly posting content. Your audience now expects to hear from you on a regular basis.
Also, remaining consistent in your posting will help you to build awareness of your brand. The number of posts in any given day on any platform can be extensive. By posting consistently, you are more likely to appear in your audiences’ news feeds therefore reminding them that your business exists and is there for them.
However, there’s more to being consistent online than just regularly posting. Keeping your brand voice consistent over time is equally as important. Your brand voice helps to create your brand image and personify your brand. If not consistent, you chance damaging your brand’s image.
Keep in mind… this is NOT your personal page. This is your business page and should be used as such. What you say and publish on your personal page is not meant for your business page. Keep the information you publish on your social platforms informational, resourceful, and business-minded.
Be you! Your audience comes to you to hear from you, not another company. Although you may be sharing others’ content as resources and tools, the content that you publish in your brand voice should be your own. If using other company’s content, be sure you are not plagiarizing. Use quotations when you use word-for-word content.
As a general rule of thumb, use more of your own content rather than others. If you are introducing an article written from someone else, create an interesting lead in using your take on the article. Be you, or should I say your business, as much as possible online.
What are some other ways you can keep your brand authentic? Read more here.
Your audience is driven to your page because they trust what you have to say and they are interested in what your company has to offer. Therefore, how can you be THE resource for you industry and keep them coming back as well as referring
others to your platforms?
Share your own content, resource recommendations, tips, and tools, but also share others’! If an article by another company is relative to your industry and strengthens your opinion on a specific topic, share it with your audience. If you read an article and find yourself saying, “I’ve said this before” or “I totally agree,” share it!
Responsive (not reactive)
You may have some followers that disagree with you or dislike your company and post about it for of your followers to see. This is an opportunity for you to respond, not react! What do I mean by that?
When you respond, you take time to think about how you want to say back (not days, but maybe 20 minutes to an hour). This is a well-crafted message that acknowledges what the person has to say in a positive way. We all want to defend our business, but we have to be careful as to what we say online. If they had a negative encounter with your business, apologize and find a way to make it right. If they blatantly say, “I hate your business,” find a way to say “How can I make it better?” If you are having a hard time figuring out what to say, ask some of your fellow employees how they would respond to the criticism and work together to craft a response.
In contrast, reacting is responding immediately after they have posted with another negative response (often times the first thing that comes to mind!). Refrain from reacting. You can damage the image of your brand by being irrational and letting someone’s negative opinions make you respond in an unfriendly manor. “I don’t know why anyone uses your business” shouldn’t be followed up with “Get off our page!” or “We don’t care.” Also, reacting would be instantly deleting the comment and/or the user. There are some instances where deleting the comment is OK such as if profanity is used or threats are made. Keep in mind, sometimes criticism is the best way to improve!
There is already enough negativity surrounding us in media. You have the opportunity to be positive and uplifting! Make your readers look forward to seeing what you have to say by keeping your content light. However, IF something has happened that you believe your readers should know or you want to recognize an event or tragedy, do so…. Just keep it light!
Before you or anyone within your business publishes anything on your social media platforms, check that the list of best practices above has been met. Everyone within your business must be aware of the effect these best practices can have on your business. How do you ensure that the content you publish remains consistent with your brand’s image?