Do I need to be on social media?
By being on the social media you gain two very valid bonus points for your company. It grants you visibility, and it gives you the opportunity to interact with your customers in a new way.
The different platforms has their own uniq role. Facebook is good for marketing, sales, guidance and general customer service. Facebook is also good for feedback and the testing of new ideers. Twitter is also good for feedback, but also a good way of getting in contact with the business life, journalists and other important stakeholders.
Social media can be used for recruiting and networking. LinkedIn is made for exactly that, and tends to be entrepreneurs favourite social media, as networking is essentiel.
By existing on the social medias and by being proactive, you can increase your customers level of satisfaction. You also take some of the pressure of the regular customer service function, by using two seconds to answer a simple questions, that might otherwise have gone through the customer service email or serviceline.
Being on social media definitely gives you an advantage – and if your competition is on social media and you are not, you will definitely have a disadvantage.
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Start on Facebook:
Time is a limiting factor for many start ups. If you cant overcome all of the social platforms out there in one go (which few can) start on Facebook.
Most start ups wont have the economical resources and the extra hands to make a professional social media strategy in the beginning. As everything else it is a process. You should evolve your social media catalogue as you gain more time and energy to overcome it. So start on Facebook as this is the fastest and easiest way to reach out your interest-group. Plus: you can use your already exciting network to help you share your new business site.
Beware of inactivity.
There are of course , also cons of being on social medias. Facebook can, as mentioned, be a really good tool for customer service. People are writing in public, which also makes them think twice, before going overboard on the bad manners. However if a customer is really unsatisfied, it wont take them long to share a bad respons or bad review. Things can quickly escalate and explode if not handled correctly or in timely fashion. Therefor: make it clear for the customers/followers, what they can expect from your site. Are you providing full customer service or not? And how fast can they expect you to respond?
Most important don’t be completely inactive, make sure not to go weeks without posting. if you are inactive online it sends signals about being an inactive company, or a company not taking the time to interact with there users.
Active from day one?
As mentioned you shouldn’t be on every social media from day one, and you cant be active from day one either. Besides from Facbook, it is how ever a good idea, to have a Linkedin profile for your company, where you describe your company and its key essentials, like vision, mission and goals.
On LinkedIn, people don’t expect you to be active all the time, but it allows people to easily find your company and a description of what you do. It also allows people to see if you are somehow connected og could attribute to each other in some way.
Social media takes times. It also takes time to be active, and you shouldn’t spam people either. It is a fine line to work out what works for your audience at what doesn’t, and remember you cant please every one at once.
Make it relevant, and be consistent. Post a couple of times a week, maybe on certain days, or with a certain amount of days inbetween. This way people know what to expect. If you don’t at least post every 14th day, there is no reason for you to be on facebook. Your audience should feel you are interacting with them and your are actively working for their attention.
5 final advice:
1: Make a sincere effort from the beginning. Choose a coverpicture of rich quality. Fill out all the data forms, så people know who you are, where you are and how to contact you. Remember to change the link, so it is www.facebook.com/yourname and not www.facebook.com/123456whateverfacebookchosetogiveyou
2. Communicate on a regular basis. It is all about what you do and how often you do it. Switch between posting news, competitions, questions, pictures, tips and advice etc.
3. Activate your followers. Is there something in todays news that can be linked to what you do. Can you spin it? Relating your business to what is happening in the world, will engage people and activate them to comment or start conversations.
4. Be aware of the tone. Avoid discussing on Facebook, and don’t delete negative posts. Answer them properly and fairly. If you delete critic, it sends the signal that you don’t want to improve or that you don’t take your followers seriously.
5. When you have a proper site, start using adds. If you have to move from 100 followers to 1000 or many more, you need money to create awareness. Organic reach isn’t always on your side, and you may only be reaching the same people again and again. If you have a quality post, boost it to hit your target group more effectively. Use the facebook insight to see what works and what doesn’t.