It has finally happened; social media has become the number 1 activity on the web. Are you surprised? we're not, these days everybody, including your grandma, is on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Social media carries more weight than ever and it’s not going away anytime soon. For social organizations, social media is a huge opportunity to connect with your clients, members and participants. It will also help create brand awareness, improve your SEO and ultimately help drive more customers to your site. Everybody’s doing it and so should you, but where to start? We’ve come up with 5 tips to get your social media plan off the ground.
- Know what social networking sites your clients and participants use. Putting time and effort into a media strategy makes sense but what social networks should you be putting that time and energy into? The answer to this question depends on your business and clientel. If you run a dance studio, maybe LinkedIn isn’t the best place to spend your time and resources. You should claim your business name and set up a page, but the bulk of your time would be better spent on your Facebook page and Instagram account. However, if you are an association or an organization offering adult education classes, perhaps LinkedIn should be the bulk of your social media strategy.
Take a look at your current clients and find out what social networks they belong to and are active on. If you haven’t already, set up company pages on those networks and ask your clients to like or follow you there.
- Promote your social media pages. So you have your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages all set up, now what do you do? You need to promote them. Add "like" or "follow" buttons to your website and links in your emails asking your current clients and prospects to follow you. Follow your clients and participants and then take the extra step and like or favorite some of their posts. This lets them know you are engaged and interested in being part of the community. You can also tag your clients in your posts and give shout outs for their successes. Surveys and contests can be used to encourage engagement with your brand and push your content out through their personal networks.
Make sure your current and prospective clients know you have social media page and are active on them. Put calls to action to follow or like your pages on your website and in emails. The Amilia platform has social media sharing already integrated and your clients can share not only your page but also with the new store feature, they can share and your activities, memberships and products.
- Follow the 50/50 rule. Social networks are called social for a reason. Try to think of them like a great party and when you go to a great party, do you want spend the evening with the fellow who dominates the conversation and only talks about himself? Everybody enjoys a good conversation and has things to share. This is where the 50/50 rule comes in. 50% of your social media strategy should be about posting news, information, and announcements about your organization and the other 50% should be third party content, replies to other community members, and shares and retweets (depending on the social network).
Take a look at what your clients are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc., like the posts you find interesting, comment, and share posts you think your other clients might find useful and entertaining. As for third party content, share articles and tips you find useful and interesting and might be of interest to your clients. If you find something interesting, odds are your clients and participants will to.
- Post frequently and consistently. Being consistent with your posts shows your fans you are dedicated to updating them with information and it keeps you in their minds. Once a month is not enough but 5 updates a day might be way too much. Try once or twice a week at minimum but remember that everyone who follows or likes you will receive your status updates in their newsfeed, so while frequency and consistency is important, it’s more important that your posts are engaging for your audience.
If you having trouble with posting consistently, try creating a schedule or carve out an hour twice a week and make posting to your social media pages your priority. If you don’t have time, you can identify someone in your organization to be your social media gatekeeper. Establish your policy and rules of engagement and make this their priority a few times a week.
- Always be polite and do not engage in flame wars. Sometimes customers complain and these days, they often voice their complaints via social media sites. No matter how great or well organized you are, if you have a business with clients, you are going to get complaints. You can’t please everyone, that’s just the way it is, and there is nothing you can do about that. However, how you react to those complaints is entirely in your control. Your best course of action is to acknowledge the individual’s feelings, apologize, and explain how you are rectifying the situation. If this is not satisfactory, then move the conversation out of public view and continue via private messages. Whether the complaint is justified or not, whatever you do, do not engage in a flame war with a client or potential client on your social media page. Arguing about the validity of the complaint can quickly turn into personal attacks and unfortunately, it’s most likely you who will look like the crazy person.
Complaints are inevitable. When you get a complaint posted on a social media site, try to look at as an opportunity to show the world you are working hard to rectify the situation and are dedicated to providing excellent customer service. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you deal with them that sets you apart.
Social media isn’t going away anytime soon and it’s changing faster than ever. Check out our e-book to help you manage your marketing efforts!FACEBOOK(LET) via photopin cc