This may seem like an odd question as the answer is often correctly presumed to be yes, especially in this day and age, but do you use social media for business?

This avenue of interaction and self promotion is rapidly making the focus of the question a case of ‘who doesn’t’ as opposed to ‘who does’.

But the real question is “what would a customer think of you and your business if they first encountered you through your social media…?” There are a few golden rules to remember and things to bear in mind…

Facebook, Twitter, a blog or other social media may be a new customer’s first point of contact with your business so the tone of voice and overall ‘speak’ has to reflect your business and be consistent in its tone.

  • Despite the commonly perceived informal nature of social media, you are making an impression here so you must bear that in mind when creating posts and interacting with customers.
  • Don’t be overly formal, though, you don’t want to scare your potential customers off and be perceived as a company that doesn’t make customers feel at ease.
  • But be careful not to use an overly friendly tone either, you don’t want the first impression you make to be that you want to be all “buddy buddy”.
  • Refrain from using slang, it’s not professional. You wouldn’t use slang in an interview would you?
  • Adhere to overall brand guidelines…don’t make it seem like a different business because this is a more social form of marketing communication.
  • Be relevant and don’t waste people’s time. There is no point posting for the sake of posting and anyway, if you’re a company they are likely to want to do business with then you will have lots of relevant information to tell them.
  • Interact when necessary, if people see a facebook page with no interaction or ‘likes” then what is there to drive them to your website, engage them and make them stay?
  • Make sure you get back to people who interact with you, other than being polite it shows that you complete on jobs – not to mention that a facebook page with no interaction is a boring page!
  • Give people a reason to interact with you, try leaving communication open ended and encourage feedback and interaction. People tend not to interact without being prompted.
  • Encourage feedback but but don’t rise to the bait of negative comments or get into a slanging match with a customer. This does not look good!
  • And finally, make sure that if more than one person looks after or writes your social media, the tone of voice is consistent.

Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with and engage certain segments of your customer base and show people you care about them by adding relevant content. But remember, social media is visible to all! You have a huge audience at your fingertips so anything negative can and will have a massive impact.

I promise I will stop with the lectures next week so you have the topic of how to use different marketing channels to meet your objectives to look forward to instead.

Social media – getting the right tone
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