5 Tips to Succeed With Social Media

Ready to start a social media campaign? With the right planning, social media can build loyalty for your brand, increase your brand’s exposure to new audiences, and position your brand as an authority in your field. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

1) Customize your avatar. What’s an avatar? Literally, it’s a virtual stand-in; but in social media it’s come to mean the screen icon that represents you—and accompanies any comment you make—on Facebook, Twitter, and any blog site. Unless you upload an image for your avatar, applications will use a default image to represent you and/or your company. Select an avatar that represents your company (i.e. a logo), or the representative who is speaking on behalf of the company (a photo or illustration of that person). AVOID: using pets, random images, or family pics as your avatar! Remember, this is a client-facing image that represents your brand.

2) Be conversational. Social media is at its heart, social. This means it’s a place to engage your followers in conversation—asking leading questions, chatting about what’s new, and providing information your audiences will find useful in their daily lives. While it’s OK to mention new products or services, this isn’t the place to try your hard sell.

3) Be consistent. Much like in-person networking, the more frequently you connect with your social network, the more they’ll come to think of your company’s products or services when they have the need.

4) Stay professional. Remember that social media is akin to business networking—you wouldn’t share dirty jokes or talk about your weekend in detail at a business networking event…would you? Social media should strike a balance between business communication and social communication. When in doubt, err on the professional side!

5) Join the conversation. Ever go to a party and get cornered by some bore who goes on and on about him/herself and never comments on something you say? With social media, it’s much the same! Reciprocate with your fans/followers by retweeting comments that resonated with you, replying via direct message to people on Twitter or Facebook, and comment on people’s Facebook and blog sites. They’ll appreciate the props, and you’ll increase your company’s exposure.

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