Whether you are an individual looking to extend your personal brand or a company who wants to leverage the latest online communication tools to reach new audiences, it’s important to have a well thought out social media plan. Blindly signing up for accounts on every social media network you can find is not the way to attract new followers (and potential customers). As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to approach social media as a tactical promotional tool.
In order to get the most from your social media campaign, it’s important to maintain consistency across the different platforms you use. Not only does this make it easier for people to find you whether they are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or another social media site, but it also creates incentives for people to follow you on multiple platforms. Taking control of your social media brand can pay major dividends for you down the road.
Many people don’t give enough thought to the handles they create when they sign up for social media networks. Sometimes they create usernames that are too cute or complex (often with seemingly random numbers added to the end). This makes it tough for people to remember who you are. In other cases, people create different usernames on different sites, either because their Facebook username is taken on Twitter or because they want to “keep it different.”
You want to make it easy for potential followers and customers to find you. If you own a business and start a website, you understand that it’s important to have a web address which is easy to remember and explains what the site is about. So why not apply the same concepts to your social media sites? Research the availability of different usernames on the social media sites you plan on using and don’t sign up until you find a username that is brief, easy to remember and is available on each site.
It’s also important to understand what you are hoping to accomplish with the various social media networks available to use during a campaign. Each social media site has its own unique strengths and reaches different audiences. Instead of just blindly posting the same content on each site, spend some time researching the various platforms and create a plan of action for each. You might use Twitter to spread breaking news about a sale on your company’s site that lasts one day and your Facebook account to set up a contest to attract new customers.
Another important tip is to keep your personal and business social media lives separate. Make sure the social media accounts you create to promote your business do just that. While you can use humor and personality to make your posts and Tweets interesting, they should all have the purpose of helping to drive your business forward. This isn’t to say that you can’t have personal social media accounts and link those to your business accounts – people like to hear about the personalities behind the companies they use. Just keep in mind if you link the two accounts, you are posting as a representative of the company. Don’t post any embarrassing personal details that might reflect poorly on your business.