As someone has so aptly said, when you are in any doubt as to the appropriateness of something you intend posting, apply the golden rule: WWGT (What would Granny think)!
This might make you laugh, but jokes aside, it is very important to follow proper online etiquette in order to maximize your effectiveness on social media. Here are a few tips to help you along.
1. Be yourself
As obvious as this may sound there are many people who create an alternate persona online. Nooo! Being authentic goes a long way to building a loyal following who want to engage with you. People can spot a fake! Putting a face behind your brand makes it approachable, reachable and something people can relate to. Also don’t be afraid to share your failures.
2. Cultivate relationships
Nurture your existing relationships whilst building new one because isn’t that the reason you are on social media? Be real, be human. Cultivate a two-way conversation and have fun with it. Don’t ignore your audience but respond to their comments. All these things and more build lasting relationships which in turn converts to lasting customers. Build connections online just like you would in person.
3. Prioritise your networks
You do not have to be on every single platform. Choose the ones that are used by your target market and stick to doing things well there e.g. LinkedIn is definitely best for B2B businesses.
4. Choose the right content
Select the right content for the right network e.g. you can have more fun on Facebook and Instagram whereas LinkedIn is more serious as it has a more business tone. Entertain and inform your audience by using videos and photos. The generally accepted guide is 80% should be relational and only 20% salesy.
5. Set realistic expectations
It is important to realise that social media alone will not make your sales soar through the roof. Yes, it can build brand awareness and confidence but there are other factors that contribute to your brand being profitable e.g. the performance of your website and the quality of your products.
6. Write with your readers in mind
Focus on making your content attractive to your audience and write in a way that is easy to understand. This does not necessarily mean you have to dumb down the content but do simplify it and avoid business jargon that your readers will not identify with. And most importunately, use spell check. There’s nothing worse than a post that has spelling and grammar mistakes – this is a sure way to dent your credibility.
7. Be visually appealing
Photos and videos are known to attract engagement. This can be anything from a product image, to behind-the-scenes video or even DIY videos. Canva is a great tool to use to create unique and engaging images. Giphs are also a great way to create humour and attract attention. So, use them to jazz up your posts and have fun.
8. Separate business from personal
This may be obvious but what your favourite series is, photos of your son playing football, or your opinion of the Idols winner belong on your personal page and not your business profile. Your business page is all about your brand – so keep it that way.
9. Share in stories
The news certainly gets people talking but make sure that you share in news that is in some way relevant to your brand. This tactic can really boost engagement but bear these points in mind:
- Do not share personal opinions unless you want to start an online war
- Do not talk about politics ……. never, ever, ever….
- Do not share about tragedies
There are lots of positive stories out there. Find some that relate to your brand and start a conversation with your audience.
Social media is essential for marketing your business. Stay on track by keeping your brand and its values in mind as you implement some of these tips. Get in on the game and you will boost your online presence and reap positive results.