By Carolyn Vaccaro
Many marketers view social media as a convenient way to share their content quickly across the web, however they don’t take into consideration if their business should really be on that particular social media venue as well as what type of content they should be sharing with the users of that social media venue. Each social media venue is different and the users of those venues go there for different reasons. You as an individual may be thinking but I have a Facebook, a Twitter, a LinkedIn, a Pinterest, a YouTube account and many others, but if you think about it you probably do go to each venue for a slightly different thing. For me personally Facebook is where I interact with my friends and family, Twitter is where I go to follow companies, celebrities and news, Pinterest I barely notice the interaction because I am there looking for cool craft ideas. Many other social media users are the same way but their use of each site might be different, so it’s important to pay attention to how users’ interact on a venue before you join.
That being said when a company decides to get a new social media platform or to start posting in a new venue there are a few things that they should make sure they are doing, and there are a few things they should make sure to avoid.
1. Things companies should do when they get a new social media venue: Companies should research the venue, companies should see where their competitors are, and companies should create a plan for engaging on that platform to build it out.
The most important thing that any company can do when thinking about expanding into the social media stratosphere is to do research. Start by seeing where you competitors are and what they are doing on the venues they use. See if their engagement is effective; make notes about what posts of theirs work best and which don’t work at all. Continue your research by seeing where your customers are to make sure that you aren't posting to an empty audience. If you think the venue is a good platform for your business then research to find the groups, pages and other organizations that you can engage with, what types of content are well received and engaged with most. Once you've got a baseline for if the platform is effective and how you should be engaging on the platform then it’s time you can consider building a page on the platform and beginning to engage.
2. Things companies should not do on social media venues include: Companies should not create a profile and leave it blank except a name, companies should not forget to upload their brand images and contact information, and companies should not ignore people engaging with them on a venue.
Once you've decided that this is the right social media venue for your business it’s time to build out your profile and start sharing your content with users on the venue. When you join a new site there are a few things you should do, both of which are addressed in the first sentence. Companies can’t neglect their social media profiles. There is nothing worse than seeing the twitter egg for a profile picture or seeing the empty person for the other social media profiles.
Once you build out the social media profile by creating a name, getting an image as well as posting information about your company then it’s time to start sharing content. When you start sharing content you can’t stop. If you stop sharing things you’re site essentially is dead to visitors, they will stop engaging and they will eventually stop thinking about it. I personally hate when I visit a Facebook page and there are no new posts since January 2011 for example, what has that company been doing for the last 3 years!? No one knows because they haven’t been sharing it on social media!!
If you do the research on a social media venue, find the right content to share with the groups and people who are interested then build out your profile and start sharing your content you are more likely to get great engagement numbers. Not to mention you will be more prepared with the knowledge of what it takes to run the social media account for your business from start through continued successful engagements!