Whether you employ 30 000 people or three, your business should have a social media presence. If you aren’t saying something about
your company somebody else will say it for you, and it won’t be a conversation you can influence.
If you look up any big brand online, you will most likely find a hate page dedicated to them. Any business’s worst nightmare, right? I find the comments fascinating. There might be bad comments and a lot of mudslinging, but keep reading. You’ll see how many clients defend their brands.
If you cultivate good relationships with your customers online, they will defend you when the time comes. That way you will have ten good reviews for every bad one posted. Remember, this is assuming that you deliver the quality service you promise. If you fail, you will be slated online.
If you don’t build online relationships, you are at the mercy of the irate consumer. These good relationships aren’t built overnight and this isn’t something you can ask someone to do on your behalf.
Use this 10-Point Plan to move your company into the social media arena:
- Create awareness. Make sure your staff members understand the implications of social media for themselves as well as for the company. A law firm can help with this. Encourage them to read books like Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex by Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer
- Teach them how it works. Social media training can be invaluable for your staff. It is important that your staff understand how social media works.
- Figure out how you want to use it. Once you understand how it works you will be able to manipulate it to suit your brand. Studying companies who are successful is a good idea, but there is no such thing as one size fits all. Make your own plan.
- Start a blog or create a section on your website for a blog. You can also use your website as a blog and then, when you create new original content, Google will love you.
- Identify qualified staff members to contribute to the blog. Don’t limit this to the communications department. Make sure the people who will contribute are well-informed and passionate about the topic.
- Teach them how to change their writing for the web. Writing for a digital audience is different to writing for a paper audience. Your readability should be high and your writing should be simple.
- Manage the process. Identify an editor or someone who takes overall responsibility for the social media. This is the person who decides what goes where and when it should go there. This must be someone who understands the brand. They should be charming, friendly and competent.
- Create a content calendar. Consistency is key. A calendar will help you plan and create deadlines for your contributors.
- Post your blogs. After you’ve done this, share them to your various social media platforms. This drives traffic to your blog, which serves as home base or a shopfront.
- Cultivate relationships with your customers. Interact with your customers. Reply to comments and answer questions.
Social Media can be daunting at first, but it is a great tool to build your business. Good luck and start blogging.
by Mia Botha
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