The Difference Between a Personal and Professional
Most of us have been using social media in our personal lives for years – even decades – to connect with family and friends, share our views on the world and find new and inspiring ideas. Personal social media accounts are relatively straightforward: you have freedom and flexibility with the content being posted, you can take breaks from using your accounts, or disengage with them entirely, with no consequences. When it comes to running a social media account for your business, the stakes are higher.
Social media is now a primary resource for growing your business, building your brand and increasing your consumer growth. If your company or start-up handles social media accounts carelessly, you’ll start seeing repercussions. Improper social media use can lead to brand mistrust, bad PR and even lawsuits.
Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the realm of social media, or thinking about overhauling your company’s social media approach, we have a few tips on how to do it professionally. With these tips, a strong strategy, evaluation of your target audience and time to write, edit and schedule, you can grow your social media accounts into profitable and well-recognized platforms.
No, This Social Media Meeting Cannot Be an Email
Set your company up for success by going in with a strategy and a social media plan.
Without a social media strategy in place ahead of time, your digital presence will quickly prove to be inconsistent and ineffective.
Instead, talk with your social media team (you really should have a dedicated team to handle social media) about how you will deal with content, engagement and responses accordingly.
- Your team should agree on:
- Which platforms you plan to use
- How frequently you should be posting for each platform
- Tone of voice
- Cohesive aesthetic
- Creative and copy that will be posted on the account
- Rules of engagement, such as when and how to interact with comments and messages from
- How frequently you will review reports and insights
- Scheduled huddles to discuss highs, lows and where you may need to tweak the existing
There is a lot of ground to cover, and it will require several thorough discussions before all of these points are agreed upon. It will all be worth it though because it will give your team and business a clear sense of the social media goals you are working towards reaching.
Proof Your Words
Once you’ve set a strategy and have a clear direction for creative and copy, it’s time to get cracking on the dirty work. A large portion of your time will be spent brainstorming and writing content that is relevant to your audience. Even when you’re writing posts with the best intentions, your words may sometimes go awry.
One of the quickest ways to wreck your company’s reputation is by posting an insensitive, unrelatable post on social media.
There are numerous examples of companies posting offensive or poorly-timed content on their social media accounts—such as when Home Depot sent out this rather racist Tweet. They apologized soon after, but it’s clearly stuck around and still roaming the internet in different articles (ahem, this one).
Lesson here: protect yoself, before you wreck yoself! Always have your copy proofed by 3-4 sets of eyes before it goes online. This can help you avoid posting something that is unintentionally derogatory or offensive, saving you from the backlash of a misplaced or miswritten social media post.
Schedule It and Forget
Once you set a strategy, write the content and get it proofed and approved, schedule it! You’ll want to plan ahead as much as possible to avoid typos and forgetting to post content. Do this by finding a content scheduler that fits your needs. This may take some trial and error, but once you find the right one, you’ll save yourself hours of tedious labor. Below are some recommendations to start off your search.
Mistakes Happen. It’ll Be OK.
We don’t live in a perfect world and if your business’ social platforms are active, chances are you’ll make a mistake someday, somewhere.
If the mistake is as simple as a typo, that can be corrected immediately after posting. There is no shame in deleting a post, fixing it and reposting. If the mistake is significant enough and has been online long enough to draw a response from the public, then your best bet is to own up to what happened.
Once something is posted on the internet, it lives forever (take the Home Depot incident for example). Thanks to screenshots and reposts, even deleting the post won’t make the problem go away.
Instead of playing dumb about the mistake, or pretending that it didn’t happen at all, own up to it. Explain honestly what happened, apologize for the content and learn from it.
The internet may never forget, but it does move on quickly. Small mistakes will be forgotten in a matter of hours or days, and even larger mistakes will eventually be overshadowed. Refusing to acknowledge and apologize for your missteps will only put your company in a bad light.
Yaaas! You Got This!
As your company takes its next steps into the world of social media, continue to learn about best practices. The above tips are a good beginners guide to help you retain your professionalism online.
Study your audience and competitors, analyze your insights and reports and soon enough you’ll be streamlining your social media presence and taking your business to new heights!