If you’re online in the digital age, you have a brand to maintain. In fact, the average midsize company (meaning 1,000 or more employees) has more than 170 social media channels, or assets, according to social media guru Jeff Bullas. Bullas goes on to lament that only around 25 percent of businesses offer any real training or streamlined strategy approaches to their employees.
Like it or not, whether you’re trying to start your own business, or succeed within someone else’s, your social media presence is either going to bolster you or damage you. Think of your social media pages as channels from which to purvey your strategy, not as strategies themselves. Michael Fertik, the CEO of Reputation.com tells the Huffington Post that the best business advice he every received was that you don’t have to finish your work, but you are not permitted to cease to act on it. When it comes to your social media efforts, this couldn’t be more spot on. Just like Hansel and Gretel, our little digital bread crumbs show potential fans and followers where we’ve been and gives them an idea of where we’re going.
Hit the Ground Running
Life happens when we’re busy making other plans … or so the saying goes, and it applies to your social media strategies. A social media plan is very important, but you must also allow for spur-of-the-moment changes. Don’t ignore relevant current events that pop up in the news, or ignore customer concerns. This will make you look out of touch and robotic. Instead, leverage important events and customer feedback, then tailor your existing social media plan for maximum optimization and virility.
Show Personality Without Oversharing
We all have that friend who thinks it’s OK to post forty times a day about their feelings, hopes, agenda, lunch … you get where this is going. If you can’t think of anyone like that off the top of your head, then you might be that person. Unfortunately, businesses can fall victim to the oversharer just as easily as any eighth grade girl. When a business posts for the sake of posting — without purpose or takeaway — social media users are turned off and annoyed, not compelled. You don’t want to be the digital version of that guy at a bad party who talks just to hear his own voice. Your posts should be succinct, clever or poignant, reminiscent of you and have a purpose.
Don’t Let Others Do Your Talking
Many CEOs and Joe Schmoes that are trying to establish a good online reputation make the mistake of outsourcing their name. Unless you trust that the person you’re outsourcing to can match your voice exactly, this will probably backfire. Davia Temin, a reputation expert for Forbes reminds us that social media fans and followers “like” or “follow” you because they are interested in what you stand for. They want to hear your point of view, not your emotions or a lackluster, paid-promotion. Bland, impersonal or overtly ad-like tweets can slaughter your chance of building the reputation you’re seeking. When you’re scattering bread crumbs, make them unique, followable, and lead your target market in the right direction.