So you have finally decided to introduce your company to the world of social media.
The increased attention Google is paying to social signals has clearly been demonstrated by their recent entry to the social network scene. You’ve picked a good time to start.
This article covers a range of tasks that you should embark on before you make your first tweet or post your first status update let alone let somebody else do it for you.
1. Brand Character – This should be the first step you embark on before doing anything else. You need to create a written description of the personal attributes of your brand. Essentially if your business was a person what kind of person would they be? Typically this description will reflect your target audience however in certain circumstances your persona may need to take on more standardized characteristics. For example when creating a brand character for a Doctor’s advice website, you’re dealing with a massively broad target audience that will have a defined idea of the character and qualities of a doctor, 40-50 years old highly educated etc. Your task here is to accurately identify the unifying traits, characteristics and beliefs of your audience and create a persona that appeals to all.
2. Taboo topics – What topics don’t you want to bring into conversation, besides the usual top shelf type items there may be some other areas that you need to consider. For example indicating your brand has a specific political stance, again each industry will have different topics that are out of bounds.
3. Connections (Twitterati, LinkedIn Power Users etc) – Who are important people in your industry that have social media presence, influence and a large following? This is your target list, to reap the maximum rewards for your work you need these people onside to retweet, share and like your posts giving you audience to thousands of their followers. Once you’ve exhausted your little black book there are various free and paid tools available online that can point out who they are, give them all a try and see which ones give the most relevant accurate results.
4. Frequency – How frequently do you need to interact, every hour, every day, every week. Again this is highly dependent on your target audience. A bar brand for example may be fairly dormant through the week but step up their activities towards the party days of the week. Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
A quick disclaimer, your social media guide is a document that can be as long or as short as you want it to be, the ideas we’ve listed are just examples to get you going. Although we would recommend that if you have employed a social media agency to manage your social accounts for you there should be a clear enough guideline to prevent some of the huge recent social media blunders we’ve seen recently (Google Top Twitter Blunders).
Of course your social guidelines will grow and adapt to the changing circumstances of the environment and the business it’s self. As new social platforms emerge, put aside some time to see if the platform can blend into your current social guide, if not adapt and change as necessary.