1. Create social media presences for your company
At minimum you should have a page on Facebook and Twitter. If you are a brick and mortar establishment, you probably have a Foursquare page already (created for you by your social media savvy customers.) If this is your first foray into social media, start slowly and ramp up. Choose one network and experiment, then add another and so on. Experiment, explore and have fun.
Major networks to consider:
2. Create custom tabs on Facebook!
The new Facebook Timeline for pages provides administrators the opportunity to promote their content easily on a much wider custom tab. There are a variety of custom tab solutions available, including My Tab which provides a fully customizable canvas for you to present your brand.
Some possible uses for tabs:
- Show your work
- Highlight non-timeline achievements
- Provide fans with coupons
- Run contests and giveaways
- Provide directions
- Show youtube videos
3. Use custom images for your custom tab!
Custom tabs are great if people open them, so make sure you find a compelling image or way to draw attention to the tab(s) you want people to interact with. You can replace the default tab image at the bottom right of the new Timeline header.
How to change the image:
- From your Admin Panel
- Click “Manage” -> “Edit Page”
- Next click, “Apps” then “Edit Settings” for the tab you wish to modify.
- Here you will find the ability to modify the Tab Name which appears under the image as well as a way to upload a new tab image.
4. Update your website!
Social networking sites may be all the rage, but it doesn’t diminish the importance of keeping your website current. Be sure to make your content fun and shareable. Top 10 lists, funny photos, and info-graphics are all great content that can be generated with some planning and will keep your visitors returning. SEO is still important but in the realm of social media, it matters less.
5. Have a large compelling photo on your content
The jury may be out on the long term value of Pinterest, but it’s clear its popular and continuing to gain traction. Pages without images are boring and can’t be pinned. Ensure you have at least one large, eye catching image on your page that users can ‘Pin’. The added benefit is that other social networks will use that image as well, so it’s a win-win. Oh, and a cute picture of a cat never hurts.
6. Make your content easy to share
Add share, tweet, like, and + buttons to your site! Don’t make it harder than it needs to be for people to share your content. Not up to making lots of changes? Use one of the all in one solutions like ShareThis or AddThis, both have easy to install plugins that will work with the major content platforms you are probably already using.
Since you made it this far, please share this post with others!
7. People access Facebook all the time – Post at different times!
When is the best time for you to share content in your social media channels? It’s different for every market and product. Generally, you’ll have a feel for when it’s best to share, but consider using applications to help you optimize your sharing cycle. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite provide a way to schedule outbound content easily. Consider posting daily if you can, but don’t go to crazy, it’s easy for people to hide all your content, unfollow and unlike you.
8. Read the comments (and respond!)
Social media works when it’s social (duh!) If your content streams are broadcast only, you might re-think why your doing it. It’s critical to engage with your audience. Who has the time right? You do, trust me, it’s not as daunting as you think. Smaller brands might only see 2-3 questions that need responses in a week. Consider creating a separate email address for notifications so they all go to one place without interrupting your regular email. Then check it once a day. You will likely need less than 30 minutes every day or two to keep up with everything that needs responses.
9. Evaluate the return on investment
Make sure your social media efforts are creating value for your company. This is challenging since it can be hard to measure how much revenue a single Tweet creates. Think of this as an advertising endeavor. Outline how much money/time you would spend for traditional advertising and instead spend that money/time on social media. If you aren’t seeing an increase in business, social media might not be the right channel to reach your customers. Dial back the social media efforts and try something else.
- Book: ROI of Social Media: How to Improve the Return on Your Social Marketing Investment
- Book: Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization (Que Biz-Tech)
- Google Scholar Journal Articles
10. Reuse your existing content
Look through your logs and find which content has resonated well with users in the past. Did you write a blog post that garnered a lot of attention? Re-share that content now through your social media networks. If it is out of date, consider publishing a revised version referencing the original and providing commentary on what has changed. If you aren’t tracking your website traffic, you should be.
11. “Don’t Panic!
… and always carry a towel.” ~ Douglas Adams.
Seriously, people will say rude and mean things online about you and your brand. Don’t panic and don’t over react. Be thoughtful and considerate in your response (if one is even warranted).
“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.
If you are unfamiliar with the Adams quote, it’s from this book
12. Think before you post
Check your spelling and punctuation where appropriate. Be mindful of what you are posting and be careful when sharing opinions. While most of the world will never see what you post, they can read it later. Be sure you leave a digital trail you and your company would be proud of.
“Don’t tweet or blog anything you don’t want to see on a billboard,” ~ Scott Stratten
13. Topical and relevant content works best – plan ahead
In the US, few people are thinking about Thanksgiving in July. Be smart, consider creating an editorial calendar so you can plan some content in advance. If your US based and find photographs resonate well with your audience, buy your 4th of July fireworks images in June and have them ready to share when the time is right. This is another great use for applications that schedule your updates.