When it comes to integrating an online or social media plan into your current communications strategy, it’s important to set targets, get high numbers of friends and followers and make sure everything you do online is consistent with what you’re doing offline too.
However, because some businesses are trying so hard to do well online, their efforts can seem a little forced and too corporate at times. After all, the whole idea behind social media is that it’s social, personable and allows people to connect! So if you have a solid plan, high numbers but no engagement, then it might not be worth the effort.
So, here are some ways you can make your brand more friendly, which in turn will make it more appealing to more people.
1. Use language that is informal and easy to relate to when you’re writing updates, notes and blog posts. This will mean people are more likely to identify with your brand, find out more about you and engage with what you’re saying. This doesn’t mean you can be really informal and use slang terms, but find a balance and write in the same way you’d speak to someone in a casual meeting.
2. Mimic the way people share online, by republishing (and crediting) other articles that might be of interest, trying to break news before anyone else, adding your views and applying them to make them more relevant. You should also look at how people act online when it comes to things like “follow fridays” or #ff on Twitter or writing up a “tip of the week” blog post, adopting these conventions will make your brand seem much more human and approachable.
3. Form friendships with loyal customers and loyal followers. These are really two separate points, firstly you should be engaging with loyal customers already when it comes to Facebook (we shared some tips for getting current customers to “like” your page). Make sure once they like your page you make an effort with them, republish things they say, respond to them if they comment on your page and make sure they stay loyal customers! Secondly, you might find as you begin to be more active online you get loyal followers who often like and comment on things that you say. Although they may not be buying anything from you or enquiring about business they’re still very important as they’ve taken the time to talk to you. Make sure you always reply to them and communicate as much as possible, they could prove to be a customer in the future or a useful business contact.
4. Share things in a way that’s easy to understand and accessible, even if your business is in a complicated industry try and make the content you share accessible to a wide audience. This doesn’t mean dumbing anything down, just make sure you use simple language so those not in your industry can understand it, but those that are still find valuable information.
5. Engage with other people and brands. We’ve stressed this point many times in the past, but it’s really important you don’t just use social media or online platforms as a way to broadcast things. Yes you need to tell people what you think and what your company is doing, but you need to show you care about the wider industry, other businesses and other fans and followers too. This can start by just liking other people’s updates, or writing your opinion under someone’s comment about your industry.
When it comes to online communications we’ve got it covered here at Codastar! So we can build you a website, design you a Facebook page or advise on the type of content you need to include once you’re up and running. We’re particularly interested in making your brand connect with people, so making it seem more friendly to ultimately get more business. So get in touch with us today if you want to discuss anything to do with social media.
[Image via Find Your Search's Flickr]