Your guide to a successful online business!

Nick Leech

In this Swift Six, I’ll be taking you through the things you should and shouldn’t do to make sure you’re hitting the sweet spot with your social media efforts.

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Hello and welcome back to the 123-reg Swift 6! This week I am going to be talking to you about six social media dos and don’ts.

The first one – do not spam. What do I mean by spam? I mean posting the same message again and again and again. There’s nothing wrong with posting the same message, but just do it in a different way each time that you post it and try to space it out a bit. Also, if you’re posting on different social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Google + – try and say it in a different way that is tailored to the audience across each channel.

So the second one – do not be scared of criticism. OK? On social media some people would say good things about you and your brand and some people would say bad things. If people say bad things or neutral things, it actually speaks volumes if you then don’t engage with them. It’s far better that you engaged with them so that they can see that there is a person behind the brand and, actually, you’re listening to them. That’s the whole point of social media, it’s listening and engaging with your audience. Also, don’t be scared of being a little controversial. At least you will stick out in people’s minds, at least you’re not going to come across as vanilla. And it is so much better to give your brand a personality rather than just be another brand that really doesn’t mean anything to anyone.

The third one – do not neglect your social platforms. If you’re going to make a leap into using social media – whether that’s Twitter or Facebook, or social media Instagram, whatever – the worst thing that you could do is to make that leap and then to leave it. Because a vacant social media channel actually speaks volumes and that’s negative volumes about your brand. So don’t neglect your social channels.

The fourth one – DO research your followers and their followers. And what I mean by that is start taking interest in who is following you and see what kind of thing they are tweeting about and the type of content that they’re tweeting links to or posting links to. Take an interest in them, follow some of their links, and then perhaps interact with your followers about a link that they’ve just posted. Don’t expect that all your conversation to be inbound about your brand. Why not engage your users about the sorts of things that they’re interested in? That’s doing it on a one-by-one basis; if you are choosing to advertise yourself on Facebook or Twitter, you will also get access to Facebook analytics, or Twitter analytics. And here you get pretty interesting statistics about the sort of people that are following you. You can tell what kind of topics that they are interested in as a whole group of people, you can see how old they are, where they are, what gender they are. Take some time to understand who is following you. Perhaps that will tell you why they are following you and it will certainly help you tailor the content that you post in order to make it really interesting for them.

So, the fifth one – DO be passionate about your channels, OK? You’re not on social media to be meek, if you don’t talk your brand up, who is going to? You need to come across that someone that loves what you do, that loves your business and gets a real kick out of being on social media. So talk your business up, engage with new customers, engage with new followers and keep your channels up to date with news about your company. Show some passion!

So, the sixth thing is – DO add value with unique content about your brand. And I’ve mentioned it a little bit earlier, but don’t just regurgitate someone else’s viewpoint, don’t just tweet links to a bit of news that everyone is already aware of, but – why not? – first of all create unique content on your blog, on your website and then share that with your followers. But, secondarily, if you do have to re-tweet a news story that is out there already in the market that lots of other people are commenting on, why not try to come up with a unique angle, something that no one has thought of before. You know, the idea here is not just to blend in the background, be someone that’s just taking part, but try to be unique and try to be memorable!

Okay, so that was the Swift 6 – Six social media dos and don’ts. I’ll see you next time!

Further reading

If you’re keen for more social media tips, you can watch me talk about how to engage your social media audience here.

Alternatively, you can take a look at Hubspot’s guide on optimising your social media channels.

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