This is a work-in progress – feel free to comment below! Thanks
I am very interested to see the variety of different ways companies use social media.
Both of these uses have their place, but should form part of a wider social media personality. Think of the social media forum as a party – don’t be a wallflower whispering in the corner, but don’t be the braying loudmouth in the centre of the room lecturing anyone who will listen.
I like to think of social media covering 4 main areas – each one of them defined by the type of company:
This is the most common reason for companies jumping onto social media – to sell their products and services to an audience – so lets get that out the way first of all.
Of course you want to sell things, you need to make money to pay the bills after all, but sitting there broadcasting about your achievements and products will be a massive turn off to your followers (remember that guy at the party banging on about his new Range Rover? Don’t be that guy).
Make use of the information or biography section of your profile. Facebook has a whole range of boxes and options for pages nowadays, and don’t forget to add your offline contact details (telephone number!). On Twitter, make sure your profile description has a link to your website. If you haven’t visited your LinkedIn profile for a while, it might be worth a visit. They’ve introduced a host of new features, including a products page – get on there and start explaining what you do.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t tweet or post about what you do – but offering examples or showing you “at work” is often more interesting to a potential client than just, “buy this”.
Don’t assume everyone who has come across your account wants to buy your product today – Facebook isn’t the Yellow Pages. Someone hasn’t necessarily come across your page after searching for “plumbers in Tipton”. But that doesn’t mean they they might not want a plumber in the future, in Tipton. If they like you, they’ll remember you.
Which brings me to the interesting part. You. Customers demand their companies have a human face – we’ve had too many years of automated phone lines and anonymous corporations – now we want to do business with a person. Social networks give you a chance to show what you’re like. If you’re going to be heading into someone’s house to do their plumbing, they’d like to know a bit about you first.
A photograph of you and your staff is a good starting point with an introduction of who’s who. Remember how the supermarkets show you staff member of the month posters? Why not keep that in the staff room? because they recognise the value of the people.
Showing snaps of you all at work demonstrates what you do, pictures of new equipment, your office or completed jobs shows customers what to expect, gives them an insight into your working practices and makes you seem approachable and human.
The Company Values and Personality
Social media is an outlet for revealing more about your company’s core values and beliefs. Yes, this will be revealed through the staff, but there will be some more solid “brand ideals” that you’ll want to get across.
If your company was a person, what would it be like? How would it speak? Would it crack jokes or be serious and professional? Emulate your idea about your company through the tone and subject matter you post.
A solicitors office would have a very different “personality” to a plumber, use that personality to attract and engage an audience and give them confidence in your brand.
You know what you’re doing – you’ve been doing it long enough. Now prove it. The best way to show you’re the right company for the job, whatever job that is, is by showing you know the industry in which you operate.
Post interesting links on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with your opinions – do you agree? Disagree? Are you surprised? Shocked? By proving you’re up to speed with industry events, and have an opinion on them will demonstrate your expertise.
Be cheeky – but not too cheeky. Comment on other people’s work, media stories and viral videos doing the rounds with your insight if it fits in with your business.
If you can cover these four bases via your social media profiles, when relevant to your company, you’re definitely on the way!.