The importance of social media is so pervasive that it’s hard to overstate just how much it can do for a business. With hundreds of millions of users around the world, social media sites have become a place to learn about everything from which clothes are in style to which exterminators are reliable.
There are many ways to cut costs in a business (like using a shared office space), but cutting out a reliable social media presence should never be one of them! There should always be someone in charge of your social media messages, ensuring that there is someone there to address complaints, take off offensive messages when needed, and keep people informed of new developments in the company.
- Register your business name on Twitter and other social media sites as soon as possible. When Netflix briefly decided to split into two companies, it chose a name that was already taken on Twitter. This was a public embarrassment for the company, and it could have been a PR disaster if the second company, Qwikster, had become a reality. Imagine the millions of people who would assume that any messages being sent by that user ID were directly from the company.
- Create a presence on all of the major social media sites. To reach the largest number of customers, make sure your company has a profile on the big sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Without a presence, you only make your company harder to find. You also have no way of addressing complaints that other members of those sites may be posting.
- Be professional and friendly. No matter what your office atmosphere is like, your social media messages should always have a friendly, helpful tone of professionalism. Avoid using text speak or language that is too causal in order to keep a professional image. Though there may be customers who wouldn’t mind messages that are less professional, what is at stake is your company’s overall image. Only professional messages will ensure that its reputation remains favorable.
- Keep your messages informational. If you try to sell through your social media profiles, you’ll get fewer “friends” for your profile. People may read social media messages from businesses to find out more about what they do, but they don’t stick around if they are only given a hard sell. In addition to addressing complaints and answering questions, share information about your company and news. Post a picture of your shared office space or write profiles of your employees. Let people get to know your company and build up trust with your customer base.
- Even if you are a small company, or perhaps even a one-person operation in a shared office space, hire someone to take care of these concerns if you don’t have time for them. Never trust something as important as your reputation to an intern or to well-meaning friends who want to help out. Every message that you send out is going to be read by people who could become customers. Make sure the every message is exactly what your company should say.
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)
Courtney’s research for Pacific Business Centers focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and the future of work trends.