Used as a method of communication with your business and to keep up to speed with current events, offers and promotions; social media platforms are a great method for businesses to share information with potential customers.
However, there are certain practices that need to be followed in order to build up a following and make using social media worthwhile. If you ignore them, you are more than likely to suffer long-term as a result. The points mentioned in this article are suited for all business types and should be followed where possible. These are however, not the only points you should follow.
As a company, you should complete your own research into competitor’s social media accounts and see what other people are doing and what the results are. If it works and suits your brand, take notes and implement them into your own posts. There are so many areas that need to be monitored and regulated so it is essential to do your own research before starting your own social media campaign.
When someone follows a business, they like to be kept up to date with current events, offers and promotions that the business is running. This includes, but is not limited to building refurbishments, closures, changes to opening hours, job openings and general product offers, competitions and promotions. All of these will allow the potential customer to understand what is happening with the business.
Events or Job Openings
When a business is closing, shutting down a single store (if applicable), moving or anything else that could affect potential customers; they should be made aware. This applies to every business, no matter how big or small.
An example would be a company like McDonalds. They have establishments open across the world with a lot of them open here in the UK. One of them is in the Chatham High-street and is often quite busy. What if at one point, McDonalds needs to close one of their fast-food restaurants down and they chose to close the one in Chatham? A lot of people will be very shocked to turn up at the building to see it shut. This in turn can create a lot of anger which people will take to social media.
Keeping potential and current customers informed with current events will enable people to keep up to date with everything. It also aids in having something in store as well as not every customer will be monitoring social media; don’t rely on social media to inform everyone of everything.
Offers, Competitions and Promotions
One of the common reasons why customers follow businesses on social media is to track when offers, competitors and promotions are set live. All of these allow for customers to get money off orders or get more of the products they like for a cheaper price. Competitions give people incentive to react to your posts in order for a chance to win something and promotions are great for boosting sales for new products.
Using all of these will keep people interested in following your business on social media. This doesn’t mean doing one every week. Rotating them on a semi-regular basis will be great for keeping customers interested without causing you to lose money.
Not all Social Media Accounts are the Same
Only certain social media accounts can get away with publishing a single type of post. This doesn’t only apply to sales either. An example of a social media account that does very well will publishing the same kind of content all the time is UberFacts on Twitter. They publish regularly with random facts about almost anything. You can even learn things you thought you might never need to know!
Not all businesses can run this structure, but it can work when done well. As mentioned earlier though, you should do your own research into what your competitors are doing and what is would work for your industry.
Using the Right Tone
When using social media, people don’t want to be met with disrespect or find unwelcoming posts. Using a friendly tone that customers feel is welcoming is a method of getting people to follow. If they find that you have spoken to people with disrespect or are not a friendly company to deal with, they are more than likely to unfollow (or not follow if they haven’t followed already) and this will work towards destroying your brand.
Don’t be a Sales Robot
No one likes talking to a robot that just speaks sales. Your customers will react the same way. If they visit your social media page and see that you have only been pushing sales with no personality or humour, they will be more than likely to leave the website. In fact, it is recorded as one of the most likely reasons for people to unfollow a brand. SproutSocial have a great article on some of the best practices of using social media. In that article, they have completed research on why people will unfollow a brand and compiled their results into a graph.
(Credit to SproutSocial for the graph.)
As you can see, no one likes a sales robot so ensure you mix, informative posts, offers, competitions and promotions together when planning on your future posts. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try pushing sales on social media, in fact it is quite the opposite. You definitely should push products when you can but mixing them in with friendly and personalised posts will ensure you get customers engaged for longer.
Be Professional, but Friendly
So, we have said that you should be informative when posting on social media and that you should use a welcoming tone, but that does not mean you should be informal. Instead you should be professional and friendly to make customers feel more inclined to follow you. People will want to do business with a professional company, no matter if it is to purchase products or purchase services. This leads us nicely onto our next point of using the right language.
Don’t Use Trendy Slang or Internet Terms
When aiming to be professional, you will want to steer clear from trendy slang or internet terms. A professional approach would mean using correct English and ensuring that the target audience can understand what you are trying to say. When you find a company that uses terms like ‘lol’ for laugh out loud and ‘u’ for you, it feels like they are a bit more on the casual side which in turn can make you think they are unprofessional. You also get the impression that when a company uses those terms, their target audience is mainly aimed at teenagers that are more commonly used to using those terms.
Funny & Relatable Posts
A mistake a lot of companies make is that they make their social media accounts sound like robots. This is when they upload posts that don’t have any personality and generally focus on sales. This is another quick method of losing followers. With any post, you should come across as a real person. Doing this makes people feel more comfortable following and/or speaking to the company. With a more personal touch, you are also able to use humour to make people laugh and react. This can be through general humour, using puns or telling a joke.
When using humour, you must be careful. Depending on the business type or business persona you wish to portray, humour might not work and can be slightly out of character. This can in turn have a negative effect. The subject of the humour also needs to be carefully chosen as you do not want to offend people; this can not only have a negative effect on your social media account, it can also affect the business itself.
One of the best practices is to use puns and sometimes even make the posts relatable. Use situations that people would have gone through themselves. When someone can relate to a post, they are more likely to react to it as it is something they understand or have experienced.
Don’t Post Too Much
We have been banging on about writing posts that are professional, informative and humorous. It almost makes it sound like you should be writing a lot of posts regularly which is completely the opposite of what you should do. Writing too many posts can cause people to get bored or fed up with seeing the company in their social media feed. This can push them to hit unfollow. Instead, spreading posts out so that there is one going up every now and then (this could be one every day or one every other day) ensures your followers don’t unfollow and you get offers and other information out to the public.
Social media is great for getting information out to your customers. Be it general information or offers, it is highly effective when looking at giving people info on what you are doing as a business. However, that is not the only use for social media. It is a quick and easy method of communicating with customers. They can use social media platforms to write reviews and ask questions.
Customers will often head to social media when they have an issue with an order and will either write on the company’s wall or send through a message. When a customer does this, they would want a quick response and would not like to wait hours for a reply. Ensuring that you respond to someone’s question within a suitable time benefits the company in a variety of ways. The customer is more than likely to keep shopping if they are happy with the response and if the question is public, other people will see that you are active on social media; giving you a good first impression.
Highly Visual Images and/or Videos
Everyone likes to see visuals when looking through their social media feed. When possible, accompany information with a suitable image or video. Doing so makes the post more eye catching and depending on the use of image or video, it can be highly interesting or likable. People are more likely to react to a high-quality image, but as with the humour, you need to be careful with the choice and use of images or videos.
In conclusion, there are a lot of areas you will need to monitor when using social media. The type of post, the visuals used, and the tone used when writing a post are all very important. These are just some of the many areas you need to cover when using social media and we would highly suggest you go out and complete your own research before starting any campaign yourself. See what others are doing within your industry and adapt them to suit your own business.
We specialise in social media posting and monitoring in order to build up a follow base; contact us today by sending an email or by giving us a call on 01634 810600 and speak with the specialists. We offer helpful and friendly advice to ensure you get a solution that is best for your business.
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