I think 2013 was the year of the social media meltdown. From really big businesses, to small and medium size ones, everyone seemed to have trouble figuring out social media last year. And the media clearly loved writing about it.
Here at iSnap, not only are we an SMB ourselves, but we also have a large number of SMB customers, so we can honestly say we’ve had a lot of experience in the space. Plus, there’s the small fact that we’re a social media marketing company. Yes, that might help too.
Below is our list of 4 tips on how to best avoid a social media #fail yourself. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and I could probably give 100 tips instead of 4, but these are boiled down to the most important and impactful. And next week, keep an eye out for our next post, “The 4 Things SMBs should ALWAYS Do on Social Media”.
1. Don’t “go there”
In the age of smartphones, Yelp, and blogging, the internet is a transparent place. And if you’re in a customer service oriented industry, it’s sadly inevitable that bad reviews will occasionally happen. If the great Amy's Baking Company fiasco of 2013 taught us anything, it taught us the importance of not only editing, but grace under pressure. Treat bad reviews as opportunities to correct mistakes (if necessary of course) and appease angry customers. Sometimes a bad review can even be turned into a positive one by opening up direct communication with the unhappy customer, and providing them with great service and follow-up. Just promise never, never, ever to engage in angry dialogue or go on the defensive. It never looks professional and rarely turns out good. Don’t lose your cool!
2. Don’t spam
Yes, every SMB probably needs to sell things, and yes, social media is probably a key component of most marketing plans (if it’s not, let us know, and we’ll help). But utilizing your social media channels as another advertising medium is not the way to build an engaged, loyal audience. Social media should be a two-way dialogue. Constantly bombarding followers with the same information and promotions isn’t the way to encourage conversation.
3. Don’t be absent
Consistency is key! The more often you post relevant, interesting information, the more likely it is that your content, page, and posts will be seen. If you’re only tweeting once per month or every six weeks, your followers will forget about you! Being engaged and present is as important in your business as it is online.
4. Don’t be boring – entice your audience to share
So what if you’re paying attention to the first three tips here, and seemingly doing everything right, but you’re audience still isn’t engaged and paying attention. What then? Take a look at the type of content you’re sharing on your accounts and pages. Is it topical? Is it relevant? Is it interesting? One rule we champion here at iSnap is “go for the share”. We believe the goal of SMBs on social media should be to entice customers to talk about your brand with their friends. Word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising, right? That can be as simple as posting sharable content that encourages retweets or Facebook shares. It can also be as simple as installing an iSnap photo station and letting your customers do the talking for you! Branded photos of your customers having an awesome time in your venue definitely speak louder than words.