So you've set up your business's social media profiles and you think you've got a pretty good handle on how you should be running your pages. Great! But have you considered everything you should be doing to make these channels successful? There is more that goes into a successful Facebook page or YouTube channel than simply uploading some content and hoping it performs well.
There are so many variables to consider when you are acting on behalf of a business. You'll want to keep branding standards at the forefront of all your messaging and imagery. Keeping a consistent tone of voice, using the correct fonts, colors, and even whether or not to use an Oxford comma, all play a critical role in keeping up consistency. It's never a bad idea to create a social media style guide, similar to creating a style guide for your content department. To get you started, Sprout Social put together 10 things you should include in your guide.
No matter what your company is representing, it’s always important for everyone to tell the same story. Everyone in your company should know what kind of business you are, and their posts, whether they are creating them or just sharing them, should support or align with your business’s beliefs.
Your company's voice should be the number one thing everyone decides on before you begin creating posts. This helps guide your messaging and makes it easier for your audience to recognize, interact with, and support you. If you have certain hashtags or abbreviations that are agreed upon, how to use them appropriately in messaging should be addressed during this time, as well.
A consistent social media presence builds awareness and recognition in the minds of your audience. Continually sharing valuable content with your social networks is key to increasing your visibility with potential and existing followers. The more followers you have, the more opportunity you have for name recognition, which increases your likelihood of being considered the next time your followers need the products or services you offer. With Facebook's newest algorithm update, creating shareable and relevant content for your followers is now more important than ever to stay in their newsfeeds.
2. Connect with Your Customers
Your social media audience doesn’t want to be sold to, that isn’t the way social media platforms were designed to be used. If they wanted to be sold to, they would check out your website or visit your store. Social media is an interaction and communication platform – it’s a relationship building tool. Take this opportunity to connect with your customers and potential customers. Find out their likes and dislikes. Find out what motivates them. Find out what they find important and noteworthy. There are endless opportunities!
One of the best practices Mark Schaefer shared during One Squared 2018 was: be human. One of the best ways to portray your company’s voice is through the words you use to convey your messages. Social media is not one-way communication. Although we think it is very important to remain professional, posting with correct grammar, for example, it’s equally important to write your posts the way people talk. The final leg of this element is the response. If a friend sends you a message on your personal page, you respond. If you don’t, they likely won’t be your friend for very long. The same rules apply to businesses. No one wants to be friends with someone who talks and never listens or responds.
During your company's social media training, we believe it is important to explain how social media can be a valuable business tool. We find it is much easier and better results are generated when social media doers understand the why behind what they are tasked with doing.
Now that you know social media done right has the power to benefit your business, I want to share some of the benefits of social media training.
Social Media Training Benefits
1. Prevent Social Media Disasters
Avoid an online disaster by creating a social media guide to lead everyone in the right direction and help them adopt the voice and messaging you want your brand to portray. Mistakes will occur, it’s not the end of the world, but this guide will help minimize errors. When mistakes do occur – address them appropriately. In most cases, it isn’t wise to simply delete it like nothing ever happened. The best thing to do when you are facing backlash from the public on a post that was created or shared is to first address the problem by admitting a mistake was made and apologizing to the affected party. An official apology is not needed in every scenario, just use your best judgment in each case.
Another common disaster we see occurring on social media is when companies fall into sales mode or one-way communication. This usually happens because the person posting doesn’t have the time or passion to build relationships and connect with people. Another social media best practice that helps you prevent disaster is giving the “right” people (those that care and have the time to care) admin access and who are willing to think before posting. Your guide should outline topics that are both appropriate and inappropriate to post about. Customers and potential clients won’t pay attention to you if you don’t post relevant, interesting, and entertaining information. Social media is more than simply posting content – there must be value!
2. Save Time
Marketing the right way and sending the right messages in the online world is vital to overall business success. Social media training includes tactics for being sociable online, directing traffic to your website, interacting with others, staying current in social media trends, and ultimately, having a conversation online.
Investing in training for your employees will save time because they won’t need to spend time researching best practices and ways to be successful. We can also recommend time-saving social media tools, like HubSpot, so you can grow and reach all your potential networks in a timely manner.
Social media training will make your business’ social media more effective and proficient. Sign up for our newsletter to be updated on the latest and greatest in the world of marketing and advertising.
Being the Social Media Lead allows me to help businesses form lasting relationships with their customers through social media platforms. I have a passion for adventure and discovery. My favorite thing to do when I'm not at work being the Social Media Lead is getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things. Whether it is taking up a new hobby, sampling a new brewery, or traveling to a different city, I'm always on the go. I'm a health nut, love nature, and a little bit of a crazy dog lady.