Jumping (or dipping a toe) into the social media pool is great – after all, you do want to increase your online real estate. But it’s important to understand a few guidelines first:
- Are you prepared to engage? It’s important to understand that social media is a two-way street. Sure, it’s a relatively easy to way to broadcast messages to your marketplace. But the market talks back –and it’s crucial that you engage with them. A Facebook page for a well-regarded television drama posts exclusive behind the scenes videos but doesn’t reveal the date of the next season premiere, despite fan pleas. Don’t leave your customers in the dark.
- Make the Commitment Lifestyle guru Oprah (@oprah) made a big splash recently by joining Twitter and sending out her first tweet, albeit in all caps. But she’s only sent 44 messages since April 17th, indicating that she’s not a loyalist. It’s important to set goals for your social media campaign and then execute. An abandoned Facebook page, Twitter stream or blog sends the wrong message.
- Be interesting What does your target want to hear? What are the issues in your industry? How can you relieve pain? No one cares what you had for lunch — unless maybe it’s the special at your restaurant! Understand what information you can share that’s worth knowing.
- You can’t control the conversation Understand that social media can’t be controlled. People are talking about your business or industry, whether you participate or not. You can’t suppress negative comments, only respond to them so better you be there than not.
- Social media offers no fast fixes Social media campaigns usually can’t deliver the same kind of metrics as other marketing tactics. A good plan should develop over time and results will emerge over time.