Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In, are powerful outreach tools for directly communicating both with individual clients and to reach other businesses. Utilising these channels can be a cost-effective marketing coup no matter how large or small the business is.
Below are nine areas that assistants can be aware of and help contribute to social media discussions in business:
1) Analysis - Understanding where your competitors are successful on social media is essential. Not only can this signpost which social media networks are the best for your business, but it will also suggest the type of successful content for your joint audiences, and where your own posts can fill in the professional gaps. Micro-level suggestion: search out the hashtags your competitors use on their most popular posts.
2) Tone - Imagine the ideal client who uses your services: are they formal, informal, creative, serious, do they need specific information, or would they prefer to be entertained? Social media channels are flexible, and often have differing audiences. Micro-level suggestion: make sure when accounts are being set up that they have identical handles and profile/header images that fit the size needed.
3) Consistency - Deciding realistically how much time is available for writing social media posts, and how often the channels need to be populated, is key. Studies have shown that the optimal maximum amount of posts for simply varies based on whether the aim is more engagement per post or more clicks to your website - and is often ruled by how much time can be dedicated to crafting content.
4) (Some) Automation - Instead of having a full-time member of the team constantly monitoring and posting to social media, there are a few programmes that can help schedule content. With popular services such as Hootsuite and Buffer, content can be queued and posted at optimal times, ensuring that the channels are being kept up to date. However, leaving automation to entirely populate your social media accounts can lead to client queries being unanswered, posts going live in the middle of sensitive unfolding events and the business seeming to be distant - something best avoided on social media.
5) Cross-posting - Publishing identical pieces of content across a myriad of platforms can look like spam to followers, but tailoring a single message across a variety of channels can be a very effective promotion tool. Micro-level suggestion: This could be as simple as rephrasing the marketing message within the individual channel’s character allowances and be as quick as clicking the ‘shuffle’ button across a week’s worth of content.
6) Grammar - Having good grammar is essential. The best tool to work around this can often be the simplest - let spell check run and use a thesaurus to explore alternate words that fit better.
7) Images - Studies have shown that good quality images accompanying text is essential, and can result in 83% greater interaction. These can be high-quality images of the products/services, well-constructed graphics, brand images and in the right context/tone, occasionally sharing well-crafted audience created content (with permission). Micro-level suggestion: Images with people and action often do well as it encourages the reader to put themselves in the context of the product/services.
8) Humour - There can be a fine line between humour and embarrassment, but with a gifted writer/zeitgeist there can be viral dividends in the use of laughter. For examples of this see accounts such as Innocent and Gourmet Burger Kitchen who have created cheeky online personas matching and reinforcing their branding and company tone - not to mention directly appealing to their target market.
9) Community - Nobody likes people who only ever talk about themselves. If the business is involved in the local community, occasionally share relevant news, events and targeted articles of interest, alongside updates of how the business and staff members are specifically contributing to charitable causes within the community. People respond emotionally to the stories and experiences of like-minded community members. Micro-level suggestion: Interacting with key influencers within your online community, whether on an informal or on a commissioned basis, can increase your audience reach.
About the Author
Emma Creese is a social media consultant whose dual passions lie in helping small business convey their incredible services and travelling around the world as often as possible. She has turned her 5 years of travel and food blogging experience at 'Adventures of a London Kiwi' and gathering 10,000 followers into a portfolio of analysing and managing social media accounts. She offers social media training and management of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Accounts to maximise their marketing value - see her website www.emmacreese.com for more information and contact her for an obligation free audit.
This article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine, a global training publication for administrative professionals. You can get a 30% discount when you subscribe through us. Visit the website at www.executivesecretary.com to find out more or to get your 30% discount email [email protected] and tell them we sent you.
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