There are several companies, organizations and even people that may not know they have a Facebook or Twitter account. For those that are aware of social media being done on their behalf, do you really know who is controlling the page and what they are saying to your customers?
I believe that social media pages can be a good way to get to know your customers, raise brand awareness and increase sales. However be sure to follow these rules when creating any social media account (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.):
- Know who controls the accounts. Be sure that you know who set up the page. Make sure that they are following your companies mission and goals.
- Create a Facebook Page. Pages are much better than a group or friend. A page is something you like, but a group is something you must join. Also the advantage of a page is that comments are coming from the company. On a group page, comments come from the people in the group. So an individuals profile picture shows, instead of your company logo.
- Be an administrator. Make sure that more than one person has administrative rights and passwords to your social media pages. If the person that set up your accounts leaves the organization, they may shut down your pages, disparage your company or just leave it with no updates.
- Check on your pages. You may be a busy business owner, but make sure that you take time to see what is being said on your pages. You need to make sure that the person is promoting your company in a positive light
- Always be social. No one likes to be bombarded by sales messages. It’s almost like having spam in your Facebook or Twitter feed. Talk to your customers, see what they like or dislike. Have a contest or post some pictures of an event. Just do things to keep your customers engaged. It’s best to come up with a plan or have someone (like me!) create a social media plan for you.
- Create an account anyway. Even if you don’t have plans to enter the social media field anytime soon, be sure to claim your name early. It’s disappointing to find out that the name you want is already taken. Or even worse, to find out that someone has claimed it to say bad things about you.
- Check what’s being said. Search social media sites regularly to see what people are saying. Although Comcast has been given high remarks on their responsive social media, you will find that almost the same number of people like the “I hate Comcast” page as the official “Comcast” page. This may be a way to address problems before they get too far. Remember that an unsatisfied customer tells six people, while a satisfied one may tell one.
The reason I say these things is because of an experience I had with one of my favorite local sandwich shops. I was on Facebook one night when the sandwich shop sent me an instant message (this is not possible if it is a fan page). The guy running the page then proceeded to hit on me, though it may have been flattering, it gave me a weird feeling about the people that may be working for this company. I also second guess going in there now, because what if the creepy guy recognizes me? So those are my social media rules. I have created, managed and developed plans for several companies and individuals.