1) Don’t get overly focused on number of Friends/Followers
To many companies, mainly small businesses, over estimate the impact they wish their social media strategies to have. When it comes to number of followers, they tend to believe that the more numbers they have following their company is all that matters and that the more people who hit ‘like’ automatically transcends into that amount of sales. Of course we know that the later statement to be totally false, but also the first statement couldn’t be further from the truth also. Of course yes, if you have organically built up your social following to a great number this is fantastic, but don’t equate the number of followers with being successful. Make sure your company realise that a profile with 100 followers can be ten times more successful than a profile with 1000! The important thing is engaging with the customer in a way that will create a strong relationship with your customers and the best way to do that is …. Number 5 ….
2) Connect with people, don’t just see stats !!!
Remember, these are normal people who are coming to your pages everyday, so make sure you treat them in that way, they are not just an avatar on a page, but real people who deserved to be acknowledged. Don’t forget this is social media, social being the key word. People aren’t on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc to be bored, ignored or by passed. Make sure you are not just replying the people who come to you, but engage in other conversations, get involved and start conversations of your own. The best way to interest someone in what you do, is to pull at their own interests and get them not only thinking, but contributing to what they feel is a very personal interaction with you, while at the same time you are sending out a strong message to everyone else, that you not only grasp the social element of the platforms, but that you are a forerunner and a key contributor to these places. Make people feel they not only want to, but need to engage with you and your followers.
3) Don’t put your foot in it
“It can take a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can loose it in one minute.” An infamous quote, from Will Rogers in the 1920′s. That’s right, the 20′s and its not only still relevant today, but it has never been more so than within the world of social media. We see all the time celebrities and even large companies really denting their reputations by posting either offensive, inconsiderate or just generally stupid comments. Now I’m saying you’re going to do a Charlie Sheen and make a fool of yourself on Social Media, I’m saying just be careful as to what you post and when, as even the biggest of companies have made the biggest of mistakes. This example is universally know for not only its shocking timing, but its inconsiderate message as a whole, one which the company later said was just misunderstood. So please don’t do a GAP and come up with something like this DURING a major disaster. “All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe!We’ll be doing lost of Gap.com shopping today, how about you?” … Even the top dogs can get it so very very wrong.
4) Social media isn’t a selling platform
This is something we have all had to battle with I’m sure, when smaller businesses (and to a degree larger ones) try and sell themselves 24/7. Social media is an outlet for creating connections, relationships and as I like to say “guiding a customer to a point of sale if they wish”. STOP pushing your products down their throats and do it fast or you will see your numbers dropping day by day. If you can peak your customers interest about your company and your products then that is great, just guide them to a point of sale, don’t try and force them into buying products in a place where they haven’t come for that. What’s more annoying than for example going on a website and getting popups every two minutes and adverts all over the thing you came for?? Nothing is, I’ll tell you that from experience SO don’t do the same to your customers. I’m not saying never push a product on social media just do it tactfully. REMEMBER only about 10 – 15% of your content you are sharing should be promotional.
5) CONTENT IS KEY
Something I have reiterated over and over again, emphasized by fantastic social media expert John W Hayes ( @john_w_hayes ) is content is key !!! Try and be a thought leader and a creator of great content, don’t just RT, share and use everyone else’s content is you want to be thought of as a social media strategist. The key to engaging with your audience, building new relationships and making people take note of you and the message you are trying to get across is great content. Thought provoking, engaging, interesting and relevant content will get a reaction from your followers, friends and the rest of the social world, lazy, simplistic content, which is dead end and doesn’t give people not only the chance to join in the conversation and have their say, but then develop that further and continue the subject which at the end of the day is what you want, you want people to be talking about you and your company and the key to that is … You guessed it GREAT CONTENT !!!!