Social media needs to be treated like any other form of marketing: you need a plan or roadmap to follow. Otherwise you run the risk of having a bunch of different approaches to the various social media sites that then clash with each other and don’t give off the right impression about your company.
Decide on the social media you’re going to use
Unless you’ve got a gigantic budget, there are far too many social media channels available for you to be able to use them effectively.
It’s far better to home in on the two or three channels that are most appropriate for your company and do those well rather than spread yourself too thinly.
Twitter can work for most industries so should at least be on your shortlist.
Facebook is near enough essential for anyone dealing directly with customers; LinkedIn is more appropriate for business to business situations; FourSquare works well for locations people visit such as restaurants and coffee shops but also has its uses in other areas.
Take some time to research the best channels for your company – the time spent planning will be repaid because you won’t be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Design your pages
Most social media sites have very specific design constraints and these may not necessarily fit in with your company logo or other designs.
For instance, the profile picture on many social media sites is square. Which means that you may need to find a creative way to fit your company logo into that space, especially when you consider the small size that it is normally shown at.
Facebook has an additional wide rectangular image that heads your page.
Twitter allows a large background image which has certain size constraints.
YouTube channels are highly customisable but you may prefer to keep with the default if you’re in a rush and update the design at a later stage (so long as you remember).
Ideally, your graphic artist should do a mock up of how your proposed page design will look before going ahead and creating it so that you’re not faced with a shock when you look at the completed page.
Check out other pages on your chosen social media sites to see what they’ve done. These pages don’t have to be from the same industry as you – and it may be better if they aren’t – they just need to be good examples.
Keep creating content
There’s nothing worse in the social media field than a neglected page or channel.
You’ve probably encountered some in the past and been put off.
It’s quite common to find website proudly displaying Facebook and other logos but when you click through to the pages they’re near enough blank.
That doesn’t create a good impression about your company!
If you don’t have time to keep your social media channels up to date, you need to either delegate the task to someone else or decide that social media isn’t currently the best use of your time.
If you do delegate the task to someone else, you need to make sure that the passwords for the sites are kept secure – most sites will send out a confirmation if a password has changed so you should be copied in to these messages by your email system.
You also need to remember what to do if that person leaves your employment otherwise you could be in for more damage limitation than you envisaged. There have been several cases where companies have been taken over or have made large numbers of employees redundant, including the person responsible for their social media, and the results haven’t always been pleasant reading.
By Amelia Black