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Social media tips: Six ways to improve your business strategy

Social media is more than just a way to share pictures of your baby or what you ate last night.

It has become an invaluable marketing tool for businesses across the globe. A game changer.

Social media is all about sharing, listening and enabling your followers. However, there are a bucketload of DO NOTs on the subject, so take note of this next bit:-

1 Criticisms are part of the game so don’t be too sensitive

Social media platforms allow customers to air any grievances they have with you or your company. Fact.

If you ignore these comments or respond with aggression then you risk looking like a fool and damaging your company’s hard-earned reputation.

Do: Respond with dignity, a cool head and try and address any of your customers’ concerns.

Don’t: Take a leaf out of Amy’s Baking Company’s book and start calling all your hecklers “sh*t”, “fools” and “nothing” before inviting them to “come to here, I will f*cking show you all”.

If that’s not enough, here’s a few more of their posts to keep you amused:-

Aggressive posting

Well that’s just uncalled for…

2 Automation is useful but don’t do away with the personal touch

Automation is a smart tool and can be a godsend when you’ve got large numbers of people to get in touch with.

However, rely on it too much and you run the risk of losing the personal touch on your social media account.

Tesco were taught a hard lesson about just how dangerous an automated response can be when a pre-prepared tweet at the height of the horsemeat scandal declared they were “about to hit the hay”.

Needless to say, not all readers saw the funny side.

Our advice would be to automate in moderation and monitor everything regularly so you hit the right balance between convenience and relevance.

3 Each social media site is different so vary your strategies

One shoe does not fit all and this applies strongly to different social media sites.

You don’t need us to tell you that Tweets have a limit of 140 characters and Facebook has traditionally been more image-based but that’s barely scratching the surface.

Your audience – and their expectations – will differ across different platforms so analyse it, tailor your posts accordingly and play the percentages to give yourself the best chance of engaging your readers.

For example, a little bit of research should tell you that, on Facebook alone, it’s usually a good idea to include pictures, keep the posts short, ask questions and post on a Thursday or Friday. For example.

Respect the different platforms, get to know your audience and, for the love of God, keep things interesting – thinly-veiled self-promotion won’t get you far without any added value.

4 Use humour sparingly. Just ‘cos you think you are funny…

Humour can be a country- and culture-specific thing: What you find side-splittingly hysterical might bore or offend the hell out of someone else.

Just ask Home Depot, who were accused of sending a racist Tweet because they, erm, sent a racist Tweet. Frankly.

Luton Airport managed to plumb equally low depths when they posted a picture of an actual plane crash which claimed the life of a six-year-old boy while boasting “This is what we prevent you from when it snows… Weeeee :)”

The bottom line is do your due diligence, watch your smart ass remarks and keep it light or you could end up in hot water.

5 Nail your spelling and grammar or you will look like an idiot

If you want to look incompetent then just chuck a few spelling or grammar mistakes into your content for good measure.

If you still haven’t got to grips with a simple apostrophe or capital letter how can a potential customer trust you to fly a plane, deal with their accounts or negotiate complex legal matters on their behalf?

Spell check was created for a reason: in order to help the less grammatically gifted out there.

If you aren’t sure, use it – prep your posts in Word just to be sure.

6 Stop abusing the hashtag and step away from the keyboard

Hashtags are a great way to tag posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and the like, allowing you to group them together around a certain event or subject.

However if you use hashtags wrongly they not only become pointless they make you look like a plum.

Our advice would be don’t hashtag in every post, don’t hashtag five or six times in a single post, don’t hashtag irrelevant words and don’t hijack someone else’s posts with your own irrelevant hashtags.

It’s not big and it’s not clever.

OK we hope this helps. If you have any queries about your business’ social media strategy or any other digital marketing matter you can get us on 0207 100 4562 – #giveusacallifyoufancyachat