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Pembrokeshire Tourism Members Blog

Social Media Protocol For Business

Chris Kellett - Thursday, January 12, 2017

By Angus Findlay - WebAdept 

 

Social Media Protocol for Business

The end of one year and the start of a new one is often seen as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf, and to do things better. In our business, as digital marketers, we’re often approached by organisations that want to see better results from social media: we’re asked why social media isn’t delivering results for them, and what they can do to achieve those results. If you’re one of these businesses, looking to improve your social media presence and the results you get from it, there are lots of things you can do – and also things you can STOP doing - to make a difference.

Don’t just sell

It might be tempting to simply post about your own business – your special offers, your products, your services – but the art of using social media is to communicate and engage with people. People who want to know about you as a business – what drives you, what you like, what you don’t like, so they can make a judgment about whether they want to buy your services – to stay in your hotel, B&B, caravan park; to visit your attraction. People want to know that they are associating themselves with a brand that they feel comfortable with: so let them know what you’re about.

Do be interesting/helpful/funny/serious as the situation requires it to be

Social media is about engaging with your followers. These could be customers and potential customers; they could also be suppliers, other businesses in the same sector as you, businesses or other people that could recommend you to others. Have the confidence to allow your personality to come through in the posts you put on social media.

Don’t be afraid to promote other businesses

OK, maybe not your direct competitor, but if you see other businesses doing a good job – if you bought something, went somewhere and it was fab why not tell others people about it? Tagging other businesses in your posts and shouting about them makes them feel good, adds to the general ‘vibe’ of positivity around your own business – and chances are will get your post a share or a retweet, raising your own profile.

Do respond

The flip side of mentioning other businesses relates to your own response if someone – or another business – mentioned you; and it’s a crucial element of ‘social media’. If someone approached you at a party, you wouldn’t ignore them. If someone you knew or worked with referred your business on to someone else ‘in real life’ you’d probably thank them the next time you saw them. Why not on social media? Acknowledge new followers, thank people who retweet you or tag your business on Facebook, and then retweet or share any posts in which you are mentioned. Be polite! As in real life – a little goes a long way!

Don’t sit on the sidelines

Again, it’s ‘social’ media – it’s OK to be friendly, and that’s just how social media is supposed to work. Simply having an account and posting the odd thing about your own business is really not going to have any impact. Someone once described social media as like a cocktail party without the heels (and, OK, so possibly without the alcohol as well) – the point being that it’s OK to ‘talk’ (or tweet) to people you don’t know, in fact, it’s positively encouraged as a way of building your network and connections.

Do plan

Spontaneity is the lifeblood of social media, but you can plan when and how you’re going to be spontaneous. You can also think ahead to what’s coming up for your business, your industry, your locality, and plan what you’re going to put on social media so that it links more coherently in to your business.  If you’re really organised, you can use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite to set up a baseline of social posts, so that if you really don’t have the time, there will be something going out to keep your presence there.

Do be patient

Last but not least, getting results on social media takes time and effort. It’s not something you can do in a day. If you’re serious about using social media to promote your business (and you really should be) – you need to dedicate resources to it as part of your marketing strategy, and keep plugging away.

There is no substitute for actually getting in there and using social media yourself to find out how it works, and what sort of posts work for your business. These ‘dos and don’ts’ should help you put yourself out there, make connections, give your business a digital personality, and help you achieve the results you are looking for!

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