Consistency is an overlooked virtue when establishing your business’ social media presence. Customers and prospects should feel that they are interacting with one brand, not many different departments. A huge part of this consistency is creating a design strategy that applies across multiple feeds and profiles.
Whenever possible, your social media pages should reflect the design of your website.
The easiest way to achieve consistency is to use the same avatar and color palette across every channel that you choose to engage. The design of a social media page also needs to reflect its function. Otherwise, you create a disconnect between the message you want to transmit and the one the customer is receiving.
For example, if you want to capture someone’s information, be sure to have an e-mail capture form or a Facebook Connect button somewhere on the page.
Set Goals and Guidelines
Setting one or two main goals for each of your feeds will help you avoid cluttering them with features, and instead keep your design clean and functional.
Social media opens a direct line of communication between brands and customers and sometimes this “no filter” environment can turn negative. When it does, don’t panic, follow a few simple steps before responding to ensure that you don’t amplify the negativity and make things worse.
First, be sure to evaluate the content of the post. What is the person actually saying? Is this something that can be remedied quickly with customer service or is someone just bashing your business?
Next, research the person that posted the comment. Are they a customer? Have they interacted with your team before?
Finally, use the gathered information and respond. Responses will vary by business and by the channel but generally it is best to remain courteous and offer a discount or incentive to try and reengage that customer. A well-thought-out response to a negative comment can turn a disgruntled customer into an evangelist
As a business, you may be eager to join, or even lead, the social revolution. But before fully embracing social media in the workplace, organizations must have a management strategy in place or their social efforts will quickly turn into online anarchy.
Build a Team
When setting up an organizational structure many companies make the mistake of leaving all social media duties up to the PR and marketing departments, but this model is limiting. Social media should not be seen as just a marketing tool. It is a tool that virtually every division and level of an organization can use to their benefit.
Ideally, your organization should have a point person or team whose job it is to manage and direct the company’s social media efforts. If you’re unable to find someone with formal social media training, look to employees with strong interpersonal and communication skills whose own social feeds you find admirable.
Once your team is in place, it should assume responsibility for anything posted to your organization’s feeds. By collaborating with all other levels of the organization internally, the social media team acts as a filter and a funnel, ensuring that your business presents a united front to its customers and prospects, while satisfying the needs of each department.
From the opposite end, the team makes sure that all user feedback gets to the right people: product suggestions go to the product team, customer complaints go to customer service, and so forth. When a strong management model is created early on, sales, marketing, customer service, public relations and internal communications can all become essential parts of the Social Strategy.