As we’ve previously discussed in earlier articles, presuming you have now made the decision to use social media to either promote your business or yourself, you will by now already be aware of how powerful the different social media platforms can be at engaging your audience … if used properly !
You may also by now have already created a profile OR a number of profiles across a number of different social media sites.
But pause a minute ….STOP…and now think very carefully !!!
Creating your profile(s) and getting up and running – great as this is, is just the first step !!
Now is the time for consistent and co-ordinated action on a daily basis. Only by ‘being present’ and having a clear and consistent message and identity’ will you be able to drive the necessary engagement with your audience – so consistent dedication and effort is VITAL if you are to be order to truly be successful.
To summarise some of the critical tasks that need to be done on a regular basis,you’ll need to consider ( and add to ) the checklist below and create an implementable Action Plan:
Initial Account ‘Set-Up’:
Clearly you need to identify which platforms you want to use & WHY and then set up these accounts properly – considering aspects like the visual image you want to create, any branding you will use & the ‘tone’ with which you will ‘speak’ to your audience.The good thing about this step is that once you’ve set things up correctly, you have completed one of the most difficult parts of the process Do bear in mind though, that getting this element wrong and not creating an engaging and compelling profile may deter any initial interest and in turn mean that you will have to work harder to get this right later on !! For example, no one would want to spend time visiting a company profile that doesn’t share crucial details of its business or service at some level at least, although the degree and way in which you do this will vary across the different platforms.
Sharing good and relevant content:
You need to be consistent, relevant AND ENGAGING. No small challenge then !! Content of course will be one of the most critical elements to growing your business through increasing audience engagement and interest. Without good, relevant and up-to-date content an audience can be fickle and very quickly lose interest and find another business or person that more closely matches their interests. After all – haven’t you disappeared and ‘moved-on’ yourself, when something no longer commands your attention ?? This DOES NOT mean that you will need to create long and convoluted posts every day, but a few hundred words on a blog post, a series of targeted Tweets or Facebook messages, a quick company update, and other regular but relevant information should be sufficient – as long as it is interesting, and matches the ‘voice’ and style of both your audience and the particular media that you are using !
Follower Engagement and dealing with questions and comments:
You WILL have to check your social media accounts at regular intervals during the day and also you may need to consider that not all of your audience may be in the same time zone – so do you need a contingency to deal with this ? As a general principle you would not want to keep any active query or comment from a follower waiting too long for a response – as then that group or individual will feel that their comments are not of any importance to you !! Clearly there is also no set amount of time it will take you to go through each question and comment and create an appropriate response or post, as it clearly depends on the context of the initial comment & the particular social media platform you are using for your response. Just remember the golden rule here of being RELEVANT & AUTHENTIC !!
In a future article we will be looking at automation tools & potentially for larger businesses the involvement of a Social Media Manager to help with some of these critical tasks.