Social media can be fantastic for raising awareness of your organisation. It enables you to connect directly with your customers. It’s not a quick job – you may need to be patient when trying to attract followers – but there are tricks you can use to give your company the best shot attracting a following.
1. Find your voice
Social media is all about human connection, so your company’s going to need a voice if it’s going to keep people interested.
- Have a think about how you want to come across to users
- Write down what your company’s personality is e.g. knowledgeable, friendly. Then, write down what it is not e.g. hyperactive, unapproachable
- Create some examples of what your voice will sound like ideal
For example, the organisation I work for describes its voice as being like an ‘approachable work colleague’, so we are friendly without being too jokey.
Here are some great examples of companies that have nailed their personality:
- Innocent Smoothies – gloriously wacky!
- British Red Cross – informative, without being dry
- National Trust – a balance between the two
- Swarfega – proof that a product doesn’t need to be sexy to a have a great Facebook page!
2. Follow your competitors
Find your competitors on social media and get following them! Then, check out which pages and groups they’ve chosen to follow and have a look at them as well.
Scroll through their social media feeds and jot down:
- What’s great about their posts?
- What’s not so great about their posts?
- What type of content has generated the most likes/shares/retweets?
It’s important to avoid becoming a carbon copy of your competitors, but by all means use them for inspiration!
3. Get communicating
As I said before, social media is totally focused on humans connecting with each other, so it’s important to join in!
Reply to direct messages as speedily as possible, acknowledge mentions (even a simple line like ‘thanks for mentioning us’ will do) and share positive posts people have made about your organisation.
Give positive mentions and comments a like and reply to them if appropriate (we’ll get to the dreaded trolls later in this post).
Avoid joining other peoples’ conversations unless they’ve mentioned you. This is the social media equivalent of walking up to a couple of strangers in a restaurant and sitting at their table.
4. Mix it up!
Avoid spending the whole time talking about yourself and your products/services. People need a reason to follow you and – unless you’re a big brand like Coca Cola – they won’t necessarily be interested in your products alone.
Consider including posts such as:
- News stories relevant to your company (e.g. a outdoor clothing company may post something about the latest climbers to conquer Everest)
- Blog posts (if you can put blogs on your site – even better!)
- Short snippets of advice
- Videos (live video streaming is popular on Facebook right now)
If your audience is nice and chatty, you can try putting questions to them and sharing your favourite answers. For example, a car company could ask “Where’s the greatest place to drive?” and share images of inspiring places.
5. Dealing with negative comments
If someone posts a complaint about your organisation or product online, it’s very important that you’re seen to acknowledge it. The aim is to make it clear to other users that you’re understanding and helpful, before moving the conversation to a private channel as quickly as possible.
- Say you’re sorry to hear they’ve had a bad experience
- Acknowledge their feelings – ‘I understand this must be frustrating’
- Tell them you’d like to help
- Ask them to private message you more details so you can resolve the issue
If the user replies with more frustrations, repeat the need to go to private messaging so that you can take the personal details needed to get to the bottom of the problem.
There’s a big difference between an annoyed customer and a troll. Trolls go out of their way to create upset and provoke other users. Hootsuite has a great guide to spotting, and dealing with, trolls.
There are loads of great social media blogs out there to help you hone your skills, including:
Jenny Williams is a digital marketer at a national non-profit organisation, where she spends most of her time writing advice blogs and shouting about them on social media. When she’s not out lindy hopping, you’ll find her working on her first novel.
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