Reputation has always been important, but probably never more so than in the digital age. Therefore, social media are indispensable communication channels and essential to all organisations. People want to see that there is a face behind organisations and businesses like political leaders, EU commissioners, spokespersons, business owners, CEOs, etc.
Here are 7 tips you really need to take into consideration:
1. Be authentic and share your personality Social media is all about content. Whether you are a business owner or not is irrelevant. Content is what you want to see on social media. Be authentic, be passionate and share the personality behind your social brand that you are trying to build. Stakeholders want to know the person behind the business and, with social media, the interaction is all about getting to know each other on a personal level. Sharing personal stuff together with your business thoughts is paramount. Don’t sacrifice your ideals just to get a big business deal. Show who you really are and your posts will be valued more.
2. Be credible Operate your social media strategy in alignment with the overall strategic vision of your business. Do not let your intern handle your social media. You may be busy as Managing Director, but you can’t afford not to know what is being said about your organisation. It is important to keep your credibility intact. You should be clear and transparent. Say you do not know if you don’t and never pretend you know. If your organisation makes a mistake you should admit it. Apologize while also communicating how you can resolve issues and do better next time.
3. Be responsive A lot of organisations fail with social media because they are only talking to people, instead of listening. Listen and join conversations and demonstrate your passion for what you do. One of the most important things you can do within your social profiles is to respond to any direct messages you receive from followers or stakeholders. What is important about social media interactions is that they represent people who made an effort to engage with your brand/organisation/association on a higher level than simply observing your content. While these interactions may be positive or negative, it is important that you respond to them out of respect for the initiative people have shown.
4. Be consistent Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation. Remain cordial, honest and professional at all times. Do not post anything you wouldn’t want your stakeholders or colleagues to read and associate with you. Do not say negative things about your competitors. Do not get in fights with angry clients online. Be very careful and diplomatic when communicating on topics such as religion and politics. Don’t post your best stuff during major international or national disasters, crises or breaking news stories… and do not take it personally if you get criticised!
5. Optimise your social media profiles
Social media profiles tend to rank quite highly in search. It is paramount to make sure yours are up to date and producing new content to keep them relevant. Review your social media profiles. See that they are personalized and have a recent picture. Not one from when you were still at the university. Do you have professional background graphics and images? It is important to have a consistent visual identity on all your accounts.
6. Let people tell your story
Build a great product or service and let your stakeholders use it and share their experiences over social media. Make sure your content is good. The secret of making things viral is not in the communication plan. People get excited when you make stimulating and interesting things.
7. Be specific Before you start using social media you should answer the following questions: •Do we have a good message to communicate? •Do we offer something new to talk about? •Do we invite stakeholders to participate? •Do we offer some added value? •Do we remind the people to spread the word? •Who is the target audience?