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22 March 2016  /  
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5 key things to keep in mind before taking your brand on social media

Social media has grown tremendously over the last decade and now has become a crucial platform for businesses in every corner of the world. Companies big & small who adapted to this new medium have done extremely well. This has encouraged new companies & businesses to take their brand on to the social medium and try to establish themselves in the digital world. What many people do not realise is that there have been many companies who have got their social media strategy wrong as well. Social media is a versatile medium. While there may not be many defined ‘right’ things to do, there are definitely some things that should be avoided.

Here are 5 tips on what businesses should ‘not do’ while they are setting up their social media presence.

1. Do not setup the social media account before the brand ready for its customers
There have been many examples where brands have chosen to go all out on the social media even before they are ready to welcome customers. This is like putting a ‘now open’ sign on a shop even before the products arrive. This is definitely not a good strategy. Be very careful on when you want to start posting information on social media as, “the first impression is the last impression”. For instance, announcing that a store would open on a specific day and the social media page goes live a week before. If for some reason the store opening is delayed, the brand could receive negative feedback on social media which is not a good way to start off for a business.

Expert advice – Consulting an expert before you are all set to go live with social media is worthwhile as they could provide immediate feedback which could be helpful.

2. Do not post content which you are not sure about
The evolution of a business can happen pretty quickly. But it is very important to post content on social media as per the current situation. For instance, adding information about services you plan to provide in the future will only confuse the customer which may lead to a negative experience. It’s best to provide information on the current services offered and later add more services once it is ready.

Expert advice – Social Media & Digital agencies work on a short term or long term plans with their clients. These agencies can create an effective strategy to transform the social media pages as required by the businesses.

3. Do not use different logos and design elements
It is very important that the brand’s visual elements are replicated to its social media profile. This ensures the customer is able to recognise the brand on the digital medium. Using different colours, design elements, fonts or images can cause confusion in the mind of the customers, which may result in the customer going to a competitor’s page.

Expert advice – Design is a tricky & crucial element in the online world. It’s best to work with an experienced designer to ensure the end product is perfect.

4. Be receptive to negative feedback & respond tactfully
In the past, the traditional way of dealing with negative feedback has been with no response. But in the online world, any feedback is good feedback. Whenever there are complaints or negative feedback, it is recommended to not only acknowledge it as soon as possible but also to reply with a best possible solution. This will build a positive image for the brand and increase credibility.

Take for instance, the recent issue Telstra had with its network outage across Australia. They were quick to respond to multiple customer complaints on social media by accepting their fault & announcing a day of free data for all customers to make up for it.

Expert advice – Developing a crisis management plan in advance could come handy in social media response management (CRM) and this can be critical during a crisis.

5. Do not post offensive content
There is a thin line between humorous and offensive content especially when your audience is from different cultures & backgrounds. It is best that businesses stay clear of any offensive content to ensure the credibility of the brand is not compromised. These include references to gender, age or stereotypes.

Expert advice – If your audience includes a specific set of people (for example – women, senior citizens, automotive enthusiasts etc.) you may need to build content specific to their interests. An online community manager who specialises in reaching out to specific community or group can help in creating engaging content.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from a professional before the social media profile of your business goes live.