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The Tips and Traps of using Social Media tools for your Business

As the title suggests, this article is a compilation of some of the common – tips, that will ensure the success of using social media for the business and traps that will enable you to make sure you leverage the positive aspects of social media.

 

You are probably wondering how you can benefit from yet another one of these articles when you can download thousands off the internet within seconds. I have compiled this article after working with companies on their social media strategies for more than 2 1/2 years and after falling to the very same traps that I am about to describe to you. In the early days, when I first started with social media, I would have benefited from tips that will help maximise an organisation’s social media campaign.

 

First of all, let me make something clear: there is no escaping from social media. It’s here to stay and it’s a great channel for marketing, communicating and engaging with your customer.

 

However, like any communication medium it’s not always pretty, but when its good its GREAT! The way to approach social media for you business is like you approach marriage – with caution. Just like marriage, social media too is for better or for worse and in sickness and in health, and be prepared to be in it for life! Now, let’s look at some of the tips that I have learnt over the years to make this “marriage” work.

 

Before you start any marketing campaign the first thing you need is a strategy – a plan of action. In order to do that, you need to identify the following: –

 

  • Who your target group is
  • Which social media applications will be useful for your business?
  • When creating goals make sure they are measurable
  • Formulate a crisis plan, in case your campaign goes south or if you have a lot of negative comments

 

The Tips…

Content is King! When you tweet, or do Facebook posts, make sure you write content that is recognisable, so that the audience can connect to it emotionally and they feel that is has added value to their daily lives.

If there is a golden rule to ensure the success of your social media campaign – it’s using keywords.  Social media is not only about the people aspect it is also about using the right keywords to find your conversation on social media and in turn drive the traffic back your website. Therefore, in any social media conversation keywords are the secret to attracting your targeted customer base.

 

Communicating consistently and constantly is the key to success of any social media initiative. Therefore you need to be mindful of your tone, your language and your content. How you say what you are saying could make or break your company’s brand, image and reputation. Furthermore, it could even result in potential lawsuits and HR issues. Another key factor to take into consideration when communicating is to make sure you make all conversations on trending topics and keywords.

 

Social Media is a two way channel for communication. It’s a great medium for delivering your message but it is also a medium that can be used to listen. Always listen to what your audience and follower base is  telling you. Pretty soon you will start to anticipate the feedback.

 

Create Interest among your followers and the audience as a whole. Post relevant articles, promotions, coupons and information about your products and services using relevant keywords. Furthermore, social media is a great tool to provide customer care service as well. This is the one medium in which your customers have voice. In the digital age, people are looking for information that will add value to their lives.

 

Make your own tradition. When people think of Thanksgiving, they immediately think of Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade.  So make your own tradition, which your fans can relate to and pretty soon start purchasing your brand, your products and your services will become second nature to them.

 

Use pictures, promotions, videos to let the fans drive the traffic for you. For example, you can run a campaign where the fan with the most number of likes for a fan created promotional poster of your brand wins. This will ensure that you are not the only one doing all the hard work, suddenly your target market have joined in the conversation.

 

 

The Traps…

Now that you have an understanding of how to build social equity through social media, let’s look at some of the common pitfalls of social media and why you should pay attention to the details.

 

Never self – promote too much and oversell your product. Always link your posts and tweets to some interesting current information that will add value to your customers.

 

Human beings respond to visual stimulus. While text is great, don’t rely on text alone. Today we have a wide variety of options. Use videos, images, cartoons, music, animations to make your posts interesting.

 

Don’t be repetitive. If you overload the user with information and worse if the information is repetitive then the consumer will opt out and stop following your brand. Don’t be one among millions. Find a way to market with your UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP).

 

Always proceed with extreme caution with the type of information you post online. DO NOT under any circumstances post data that will compromise your company’s reputation and corporate integrity. Additionally, be mindful of the language and tone of communication.

 

Never deny any possible mistakes you or your employees could have potentially made, outright. Always ask questions to get more information on the complaint and then forward it to the relevant department or professional to handle.

 

Don’t waste precious business time replying to irrelevant posts or spam. This will all add up at the end and will start affecting your bottom line, your ROI and ultimately be detrimental to your organisation.

 

Fig:  Diagrammatic Overview of Tips and Traps of Social Media

 

These are but a few of the methods I have learnt over the years through trial and error. At the beginning, when social media first became a key business communication medium, there were no hard and fast rules. Companies learnt by making mistakes repeatedly. Now, organisations have a much clearer understanding on how to navigate the social media waters to their advantage. But it never hurts to go back to basics once in a while.

 

If you would like to leave a comment, ask a question or arrange a one-to-one consultation contact me on logan@logannathan.com or via one of my social media channels using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus

 

About Logan Nathan

Digital Transformation Specialist | Internet (Web) Marketing Strategist Speaker | Trainer

Based in Sydney, Australia, Logan has been an avid & passionate digital media user since the advent of Facebook. Logan runs his own workshops on the social media secrets in Australia. He has also written a number of eBooks on the same subjects (Social Media Secrets for your Business, Twitter Secrets for Your Business and Social Media Start-up Guide for Business), all of which are now published and available online. Logan is also a passionate speaker on the subject of using ‘Internet and Social Media for Business’ and spoken at number of Business conferences in Australia and overseas.