Another big question this week.
Bernard Goldbatch asked
When I introduce mature students to social media, they ask for health warnings. I’d like to read your thoughts on careful engagement online.
This is a good question and one we should all consider before engaging.
If you are embarking on a social media campaign to promote your business it is important to remember that this is ‘Social’ media, simply broadcasting rarely works, you must be willing to become a part of the conversation, to encourage people to actively engage with your brand. This can be quite a scary prospect, by allowing people to participate you are to a certain extent outsourcing the building of your brand. You cannot have complete control of how your audience promotes your business, for this reason I think it is important to spend time in advance of launching your campaign assessing your target market and deciding exactly what sort of message you want to send out via social networks. It is always worth consulting with your marketing department (if you have one) to make sure that your social media strategy fits with the overall marketing strategy for your business. Social media should be part of your marketing mix not separate from it.
I would suggest that you ask yourself 3 questions before you start a campaign, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or any other online network.
- Who is your target market? Once you have considered this you can keep your posts on message. For example, Spiderworking.com targets micro & small to medium enterprises so we tweet links and information that we believe will benefit this audience.
- How personal do you want to be? Although engagement and conversation is an important part of social media I believe it’s important to keep business pages business orientated. The level of your personality that you want to allow into your Tweets and posts should be decided in advance.
- How will you react if someone attacks your brand? Although we all hope this will not happen to us, engagement through social media means that there is always the potential that a disgruntled customer could voice their complaints online. This doesn’t happen because you use social media, this happens because your customers do. The good news is that because you are already using social media you can react swiftly to rectify the situation. Having a plan on how you will deal with complaints, even if you never need to implement it is very important.
If you have a social media question that you would like us to tackle, leave a comment below.