Using social media for your business? Start right

Teens are on Snapchat. Facebook is dead — but records 1.5 billion users. Pinterest was and is the new visual thing while Instagram is among the top performers and Tik Tok has fans (and users) raving all over the world.

In a few sentences, that is the logic – and the wonderfully magic world – of social media summed up.

It is a strange, ever-changing world of magic and fantasy where trolls cross path with gurus and ninjas.

As businesses are (still) making their way towards digital and social media adoption, they also face the dark side of this force to be reckoned with.

Every company can easily create a Facebook page, a Twitter account or any other presence on one — or many — of the numerous networks available. Yet, social presence, especially for businesses, has to be handled like the business itself and taken as seriously as finance or, at least, public relations. Social networks are a wonderful tool for communication, for customer research and engagement, for customer service and so much more. However, social media can also throw your brand in the deepest circles of online hell if managed poorly (instantaneity, global reach, reputational risk, etc.).

Social media require a strategic approach

A business plan is a mandatory path to starting a business and following a defined line. Strategy and planning are similarly needed for social media. Here are some of the basics to keep in mind when getting started:

  • Audit your brand, message, audience and competition. Define where you stand, what the voice of your business is and who — and where — your audience is.
  • Define the main — most relevant — media to use to listen to, reach out and engage with your audience. Nobody can be everywhere and do everything. Select the top 3–4 relevant networks and focus on these. Add some others, if relevant, once the foundations have been set.
  • Create a playbook. Every network has its own parameters and special features. Prepare materials and documentation for all of them. Starting with profiles. Even if the profiles have to be consistent, the size of pictures will differ and so will banners (where some may be leveraged for added communication) and the number of characters allowed in each bio. Get some templates ready for posts and pictures as well.
  • Plan. Planning is a crucial part. Put together an editorial calendar and global repository (if many team members are involved) for content. Create and curate content relevant to your market and industry, stay on top of trends to feed your content machine and plan the posting.
  • Be human. No need to be a robot. No need to wear an aimless positivity mask (I would call your bullshit). Just ensure having human beings behind the tools. Acting like humans (that also means being allowed and empowered to do so).

There is plenty more to say but follow these pieces of advice and you should, at least, be off to a good (educated) start.

Then, I am only a tweet or email away — and a human 😉

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