As we start another year, many of us stop to reflect how we can learn from past mistakes and improve in the future. Here’s a list of five simple resolutions to ensure your social media efforts are successful in the coming year.
Resolution 1: Be genuine.
With so many products available to compile messages, automatically respond or post when you’re unavailable, too much of this can be a downfall. While there’s nothing wrong with using these services in some cases, over-automation can stifle conversation and engagement. Take the time to respond to comments and inquiries and don’t be afraid to make things personal.
Resolution 2: Take the good with the bad.
Social media has allowed individuals to speak candidly and openly with companies like never before. However, this also opens the door to negative and sometimes hostile feedback. So what can you do about this? Some companies react defensively, don’t respond or even unnecessarily delete comments. This can destroy the credibility you are working hard to build. Rather than always viewing this type of feedback as a negative, see it as an opportunity to find out more and show you care about finding a solution. Sometimes a conversation over Facebook or Twitter can actually diffuse the situation while also building your credibility for other customers who witness the dialogue.
Volkswagen got off to a rough start in 2012. Here’s an example of what can happen when companies don’t respond…
Resolution 3: Focus on relationships, not selling.
While return on investment is important, try not to make it your focal point. Focusing on sales to the detriment of building a community will ultimately leave you unsuccessful. Rather, try to view sales as a by-product of having a strong and effective relationship with your client base.
Resolution 4: Keep things fresh.
Nothing’s worse than following a link to a Facebook business page to find out that it hasn’t been updated in months. Not only are you losing opportunities to spread valuable information, but you’re leaving a bad impression that you don’t care or don’t have anything interesting to share. Social media requires hard work and requires creative thinking about how to best represent your company and generate meaningful dialogue. Having regular and quality material keeps your followers engaged and ensures they will return for more.
Resolution 5: Be interesting.
How many times have you followed a company or product on Facebook or Twitter, only to never think about them again? More than ever before, attention spans are short and vast amounts of information are being shared. Posting something that will immediately pique someone’s interest and then draw them into a conversation is essential. Try to imagine you are following your business’ page. What would make you stop, read and join the conversation? Putting yourself in a fan’s place can be valuable in developing interesting and engaging content.
What are your social media aspirations for 2012? What are you planning to start doing (or stop doing) in the year ahead?