The Delve top 10 social media do’s and don’ts

Joanne Ford, Communications Manager at Shorthose Russell, explains how you can increase your brand awareness with social media platforms.

Everybody tells you that as a business owner you should be involved in social media, but what you should be doing and how that effort is going to help your business is another matter entirely.

The truth is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ – what is right for a fast food outlet may not be right for an accountants, but here are a few tips that should help you on your way to building a successful and fruitful presence in social media, whatever your franchise.

1. DO register with as many relevant social media platforms as possible

As a rule of thumb, Twitter is great for offer led messages, and spreading a short message to lots of people, quickly. So, if you have a daily deal or a flash sale, this is the way to get the word out. If you want to get some feedback from your customers, start a conversation, get people engaged, Facebook is your best bet as this allows you to display richer media such as videos and photos that can be easily viewed on your page. If you are recruiting, try LinkedIn, the professional network on which you can view CVs and connect with business contacts past and present.

Even if you don’t use it straight away, it is safer to register your brand name so someone else doesn’t.

2. DON’T ask your IT department to represent your brand

It’s a customer facing activity not a technical one. Your front of house staff will be much better equipped to represent your brand in the way that you want. In social matters, personality is all important, so don’t be afraid to have one.

3. DO learn from others

Social media is a relatively new phenomenon; if others are doing something right, adapt it for your business. The same goes for getting it wrong, of course. Learning from your own mistakes is fine, but better to learn from someone else’s.

4. DON’T block conversation

Just because a subject is not of interest or relevant to you, don’t shut it down, it may well be of interest to your next customer. When it comes to building an online community, trying to be too controlling over content is a bone of contention best avoided.

5. DO participate

You’re an industry expert, get involved and share that knowledge. We all know that in business networking is important, and social media is no different.

6. DON’T be too corporate

Nobody likes buying from large faceless corporations, be ‘social’, be human! This is particularly pertinent for franchises – don’t be afraid to have local appeal. You know your area and the people that live in it in a way that your brand will not. Use it. Make the most of it!

7. DO it regularly

There is nothing worse than finding a great tweeter to follow, only to find out they stopped tweeting four months ago, but don’t go too mad – you will soon find your followers dwindling if you bombard them with too many messages.

8. DON’T forget to promote your social media

Make sure your email/forum signatures, website and corporate stationery are updated with your social media links.

9. DO monitor what is being said about you

Why wouldn’t you want to? You could be missing out on valuable feedback or the chance to rectify an issue.

10. DON’T expect instant results!

Social media is a form of online PR; reputations are not built over night, but keep at it and you will reap the rewards.

At Shorthose Russell, we help businesses to make sense of social media by listening in to over 200 million websites and social media platforms to find out what is being said about your brand or your industry. We call this service Delve.