To many professionals, social media platforms are just places where they can use not-so-creative ways to say, “Buy my stuff!” Social media profiles for your business are more than just advertising platforms. They are a way your company can build relationships.
Identify Your Audience
When you don’t know who your audience is, you’re merely screaming into ‘the void.’ Who is your ideal customer? What’s important to them? What do they hope to get from your product or service? What does the fact that they are buying from you tell you about them and what they value? What is their age and socio-economic background? What is their gender? Are they in a certain line of work? Where do they hang out? These questions and more will help you identify your audience.
Once you make those analyses, it’s helpful to find an image of a person (or a group) that represents your target audience and speak directly to them in all your postings. Put it where you can see it when you post on social media. You aren’t talking to a generic person. You’re addressing your perfect customer as if they are a friend or someone else you care about. You’re finding ways to be genuinely useful to this person.
Keep the Feed Active
Once you know who you’re talking to, regular updates are essential. You need to frequently and consistently update and interact over social media for a personality to “stick”. You want people to become familiar with your voice and hear it often. You need to post daily and engage with them about things that matter to your company and your customers. Respond carefully to comments, especially negative feedback which is just as important to attend to. You can sit down and type out a month or two of messages and keep them in a file on your computer. On the last day of the month, you can schedule these posts with Hootsuite to go out at intervals of your choosing. You can reuse posts and keep them in circulation, but not so frequently that the recycling is obvious. You don’t want people to think that you only have ten things to say.
Give Personal Responses
Yes, you’re busy. But don’t fall into the temptation of giving canned-sounding responses. You will want to always respond to posts in a personal, amiable way. This way, every person feels heard and knows that they were addressed by a real person within your company. They don’t want to be a faceless person in the crowd, and they don’t want you to be either. You can use a bit of ‘safe’ humor where appropriate. Show some compassion toward their circumstances or some understanding of their problem.
Own Your Mistakes
It may sound counterintuitive to own your mistakes on social media, but people will find out anyway. Word gets around lightning-fast. There is no point in trying to hide a mistake. It shows more character to own up to it. Always inform your followers of your error and what you’re doing to fix it. Be compassionate concerning the problems your mistakes may have caused your customer. These things build and restore trust that your organization will do the right thing by their customers. If you try to cover it up or sweep it under the rug, they will know, and you will lose in ways you can’t even imagine.
Show Them Your Company’s Human Side
Social media is an opportunity to teach people about your brand rather than just about your product or service. Don’t just try to sell them widgets. Share your story, so they know why they should buy widgets from your company instead of all the other companies selling the same thing. Why yours? Did you go into business to solve a problem, to share a passion, or was it motivated by a loss or a hope for the future? Was your company created as an avenue to give back or help a cause? What’s that story? Your social media posts can help your customer see the heart and soul of your business. If your customer can resonate with the story and mission of your business, they will be your staunchest brand ambassadors.
Be More Personable in Customizable Fields
Customizable fields like ‘About Us’ and ‘Bio’ are great opportunities to show there are real people behind your company. A little humor, creativity, and personality go a long way toward making your company look approachable to your target audience. These spots are perfect places to be not-so-serious. Make sure any humor or playfulness is in line with your company’s culture and values.
Social media is an opportunity to talk directly with your target market, collect actionable data from your interactions, and get to know your customers and why they chose your brand over a field full of choices. It is the avenue by which your prospects, customers, and colleagues can get to know your company.
To better learn how to engage with your customers using social media, click here. Soon, you will be the most tech savvy business out there!