There is no doubt that the range of social media platforms can be confusing for someone who is not a regular internet user. But that simple fact should immediately get your business brain whirring, and realising that here is an opportunity to outdo all those competitors who either donâ€™t bother to use social media tools, or do so ineffectively.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc, should be seen as useful ways of connecting with current clients and hopefully reaching new ones. But it is very easy to become blind to the fact that youâ€™re communicating with real people each time you post something to a site, and each of these platforms can quickly drive people away rather than draw them in.
Channel Your Efforts
The first important thing to realise is that all of these sites are not the same. They each serve a niche and are suited to different styles of communication. For instance, Twitter lends itself to short bursts of informal text, while Facebook can go into more detail, and is perhaps better suited to more formal correspondence. Study all of the major social media sites and decide which would best serve you. Then concentrate on that particular channel, as trying to maintain more than a few social media sites can be a real headache!
The big companies will have their own dedicated PR departments constantly communicating through these portals, and there is little chance of you being able to maintain that level of presence. That said, you should decide how often you are going to update your sites and stick to it! You will then be able to communicate with your customers and make sure youâ€™re at the forefront of their minds within your industry. At all costs, do not let a social media channel fall empty and abandoned; this reflects badly on you and your business. The channels can be whatever you want them to be, but in order to be of some business use, you need to be consistent and committed.
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that they are real people at the receiving end of your posts. Donâ€™t just write anything to fill the space. Try to make it interesting, relevant and genuine. Make sure you respond to peopleâ€™s queries and be prepared for criticism (and make sure you deal with it professionally! Remember, everybody can read what you say!).