e-Careers

Top 5 tips for managing social media for business

In a digital world, practically every business you can think of has a presence on social media. It can be a fantastic way to connect with your customers and create interest in your brand.

As with many aspects of marketing, patience is key! However, there are some important points to bear in mind that can make your social media experience run smoothly. 

1. Pick the right platforms for you

Different social media platforms cater to different users. When considering this, it’s important to bear in mind:

  •          Your target age range
  •          The type of content you’ll be sharing
  •          How much time you can spend on posting

For example, Snapchat caters for younger people, whereas if you offer B2B services LinkedIn is a must.

Look at the platforms your competitors are on and see how much engagement they have. If they’ve given up on an account or seem to be struggling to generate interest, you may encounter the same issues.

If you have a smaller team, it may be best to pick one platform to start off with and then move on to the others once this is under your belt.

2. Find your voice

Social media is all about making connections, which is going to be hard if you sound like a robot! If you want to keep people interested, you need to have a voice:

  •          Have a think about how you want your organisation to be seen
  •          Think about some key traits e.g. friendly, quirky, professional
  •          You can also jot down what you are not e.g. goofy, serious, dry
  •          It may also help to write down some examples that show your voice

Here are some great examples of companies that have nailed their personality:

3. Look at the competition

While it’s important not to become a carbon copy of your competitors, you can still learn from them!

Scroll through their social media feeds and look at:

  •          Posts that worked well (e.g. lots of shares/likes)
  •          Posts that didn’t work
  •          The type of content they share e.g. video, images

On platforms like Instagram and Twitter you can also start following their followers to encourage them to view your offering.

4. Mix it up!

A social media feed that only shares one type of content (e.g. sell, sell, sell) gets boring pretty quickly. People need a reason to follow you!

Make sure you include a variety of content, such as:

  •          Videos (these are so important to include on social!)
  •          Blog posts (from your site and elsewhere)
  •          Photos
  •          Polls
  •          Competitions
  •          Short snippets of advice
  •          Information on your products

If your audience likes to engage with you, try putting questions to them and sharing some of their answers. For example, a music shop could ask people “Which track sums up your childhood?”

It’s also important to engage people in conversation. Reply to every comment (except for trolls, see below) and comment on posts you find interesting.

5. Dealing with negative comments

At some point every social media manager must deal with negative comments. This is because channels such as Twitter are now seen as a quick and easy way to contact companies and get issues resolved quickly.

The most important thing is that you’re seen to acknowledge complaints. Make it clear to the person in question, and other potential customers, that you’re understanding and helpful. Then, move the conversation to a private channel.

  •          Tell them you’re sorry to hear they had a bad experience
  •          Acknowledge their feelings – e.g. ‘I understand this is frustrating.’
  •          Tell them you’d like to help
  •          Ask them to direct/private message you some more details

If the customer continues to reply with more frustrations, repeat that you’d like to help and ask them to send the details you need to do so. If they continue to complain without any attempt to engage with you or they become abusive, stop engaging with them.

Although annoyed customers can sometimes sound like trolls, there’s a big difference. Hootsuite has a great guide to spotting, and dealing with, trolls.

Hone your digital marketing skills

We have a range of digital marketing courses for all levels, see our marketing course pages for more information.

If you’re a complete beginner, you can learn from a professional agency with our upcoming Introduction to Digital Marketing course. This has been produced with Mark Wright, winner of BBC’s The Apprentice and an experienced marketing professional.