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Using Social Media for Business: Five Best Practices

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Though we are well interspersed in the “information overload age,” there is still a large population of individuals who do not understand the benefits social media can bring to a business. As PR professionals, marketing specialists and social media strategists, we need to be able to convey how having a presence on social channels can have great effects on brand awareness and showcase the knowledge of your business’ staff. Here are five ways you can show your clients you know exactly how to make their social media campaigns work for them.

1. Choose the Right Social Networks for Each Client

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and usually YouTube are the obvious choices to mention when a client asks, “What social media networks should I be using to boost my business?” However, there are several other social networks to consider for your clients that are specific to the industry they serve. For example, a furniture company should consider having a Pinterest account to showcase all of the pieces available. A Pinterest account may not work well for an insurance company that doesn’t produce much visual content, though Pinterest can be used to post white papers leading back to other websites with full text.

2. Show Results

The only way to demonstrate to your client that social media is helping their business is by providing analytics reports on a monthly/quarterly/yearly basis to show the return on investment (ROI).  This will also help you tweak campaigns along the way to improve results. Analytics programs are available through Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Companies using Twitter Ads can also access a program that will offer support when compiling reports. There are also several third-party applications that can help with generating analytics reports for Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks. Once you have the report,  create a full assessment  of what is working and what  is not.

3. Be Prepared to React to Negative Comments

When dealing with negative comments, deleting a Facebook page or Twitter account will only cause more chaos. “Why was the page taken down? Can they not handle constructive criticism?” You don’t want people saying that, even if the criticism was not constructive. If someone posts something negative, hide the comment. DO NOT DELETE THE POSTS/COMMENTS. If you find individuals who don’t want to follow the rules for commenting on Facebook, ban the user from the page.

Negative comments are going to happen no matter what you do. Sometimes negative posts should stay un-hidden for transparency reasons, but you have to use your own judgment. Deleting posts and pages is almost never the answer, but hiding is a good alternative. In extenuating circumstances, such as cases where a page has become a location for hate/discrimination or if there is another Facebook page with more likes/engagement that is basically a duplicate, deleting the page may be the right move.

4. Social Media Advertising Works

If your client is looking to get results fast, consider allocating a small amount of dollars to social media advertising. For as little as $15, you can boost one of your Facebook posts. Boosting Facebook posts can triple the average reach you receive on posts, increase the level of engagement on your page and help your page gain more likes. And, of course, the more you spend, the better the results. With options to customize demographic targeting and performance optimization, many social networks make it possible for you to reach the right audience with your advertising. Try it once and you will see the benefits.

5. Remember: It Can Be Time Consuming; Get Organized

You don’t want to find yourself overwhelmed with too many accounts, having to remember too many passwords and not being able to keep up with all the engagement. Before this happens, invest in a scheduling service that can help you manage your social media accounts all in one location. There are a variety of these services available, some free and some paid. Hootsuite, TweetDeck and Buffer are just three reputable services you can choose from to manage your social media accounts. Do some research and find out what will work best for your company and clients.

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