social media best practicesWe’re looking forward to presenting on social media tips and traps later today at the Business Building/Marketing Showcase event at Waukesha County Technical College. Co-sponsored by WCTC, SCORE, PayChex and Constant Contact, the program is designed to help existing business owners improve their operations and increase sales.

NeoCloud Co-Founder and Managing Member, Udo Misch, is scheduled to lead a discussion on social media best practices. Udo will discuss how to effectively utilize the major social media platforms for business purposes. For those who can’t make the event, or if you attend and would benefit from a recap of the talk, what follows is a summary of the key tips to leverage and traps to avoid. Enjoy!

1. Less can often times be more – you don’t have to be on every social media site. It’s better to do one platform well then multiple platforms poorly. Choose the social platform (s) that make the most sense for your business and your target audience. How do you know which ones? Research, both your competitors and ask your audience in person and via other methods, like an e-mail marketing survey.

2. Social media is not a task that has to be done. Social should be an integrated part of your overall marketing plan.

3. Social media platform management should not automatically be delegated to the youngest person in the office, simply because it is assumed, “they get technology.” Social media is a direct reflection of your brand and brand voice. Most of the time, the youngest person in the office isn’t effectively prepared or capable of delivering that message correctly.

4. Automation should not replace organic voice. Meaning, everyone wants to save time. That said, your social strategy and communication shouldn’t sound like it’s auto generated or robotic. There should be a human element and connection to every post.

5. Be social. A lot of businesses set up social accounts and 100% of what they post is their own information. That’s the equivalent to talking all of the time in person to person meetings. On social, businesses need to listen, listen to competitors, what’s going on in the industry and what customers are saying. Engage with other organizations, like, comment and share other posts.

6. Be efficient. Social requires organic voice, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit in front of your desktop to get everything done. If you have a smartphone and not a dumbphone, you have access to the app associated with your respective social channel (s). Leverage those apps.

7. Take what you do offline and convert it to online activity. We can’t tell you how many times we hear from business that are going to charity functions, meeting with clients, going to tradeshows, etc. and never think about capitalizing on those experiences in the world of social. Sharing photos of the experience, tagging/mentioning other attendees and the host of the event, and sharing info that others post are all effective strategies.

8. Not assessing ROI (return on investment). There is no standard ROI when it comes to social. It’s all about what you are trying to accomplish as a brand. For some it could be awareness. For others it could be sales and or leads. For others it could be building a community. Regardless of the main objective, there needs to be defined goals and expectations around what a business wants to accomplish on social. Once defined, each social platform does a nice job of providing metrics related to account activity.

9. Pay to play. Across social platforms, there is an increasing focus on targeted advertisement. To get the most out of social advertising, promotion and community building, organizations should devote a specific amount of marketing budget to social advertising spend.

10. Know when to raise your hand and ask for help. If your social strategy is stagnant, inconsistent, not delivering results and in general causing you anxiety and depression, it’s time to talk to a professional. Some organizations simply need a one time consult to get them back on track. Others might need some ongoing guidance. Every situation is unique. The keys are to recognize when things are astray and realize it isn’t going to fix itself.

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