“How do you want your customer to be thinking about you? That’s the way to think about your brand”, according to Deluxe brand expert, Terri Shapiro. This statement rings true if you’re looking to reach out to existing and potential customers via social media networks. It’s a great opportunity to highlight the human side of your business, especially if you keep these tips in mind as you build your social media strategy:
1. Be Selective – only join and participate in social networks that fit your brand. Entrepreneur’s article can help illuminate which one(s) is/are the right fit for your business.
2. Assess your time and resources. Don’t overextend yourself by feeling obligated to post on every social network, but do get started on these primary sites:
- Create a Company Page on LinkedIn. Watch this video to learn how to set up yours.
- For brick and mortar businesses, claim your listing on Google Places. Watch this webinar to better understand “How Google Plus Helps Customers Find YOU”.
- Claim your company name by creating accounts and custom URLs in the other big social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare (if you’re a brick & mortar), Instagram, and Pinterest. Creating accounts will allow you to grow into other networks later, while protecting your brand name in the meantime.
- Start with a commitment to do regular posting on one social network. (See tip #1 to determine the best one(s) for your company).
3. Complete 100% of your social media profiles. Filling every available field will help improve search results, create trust with visitors and search engines, share your company’s products and services and better tell the story of who you are and why you’re a great choice compared to your competitors. See how we fully completed our Deluxe Google Plus profile.
4. Link your social accounts. Link to your website, blog and within other social networks. This will allow your fans & followers to find your company on whatever networks they choose. It also allows you to share your content between networks with more ease.
5. Customize your social media URLs. Claiming your vanity URLs helps reinforce your brand and makes it easier for customers to find you.
7. Be human. Use the same style of communication you would use when socializing in person. Social media offers a great opportunity for your customers to see your company’s true personality.
8. Develop content that can be used on multiple social networks. This will save you time and energy and will keep your content consistent. But, be sure to optimize for the social media channel. That means paying attention to the different text lengths on each platform, while also noting that hashtags work well on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, but not for LinkedIn.
9. Create social campaigns around your content. For example, October was Cyber-Security month, so Deluxe chose to run a 30-day focus on cyber-security by providing tips, tricks, how-to’s and products to help small business owners keep their companies secure.
10. Provide valuable content to your fans and followers, not just product promotions. Use the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, share your expertise in your field by posting content like how- to’s, answers to common questions and behind-the-scene tips. This will keep your fans engaged with your brand and help them be more receptive when you do mention your products and services the other 20% of the time.
11. Be responsive. Social media offers two-way communication. This is your opportunity to interact with your customers and get to know them. Social media is also immediate, therefore, its important to respond in a timely manner.
Originally written and posted for the Deluxe Corporation Blog.