Nothing’s ever easy, right? Wrong. There are ways to ease into social media without it taking up your entire business life. If you just want to dip your toe into the social media pool, here are 10 easy tips:
1. If you’ve created a Facebook fan page, update it with something once a week at least. Use special offers, video, promotions, news. A fan page that just sits there isn’t working for you.
2. Create a corporate Twitter account and tweet daily. Make sure that your corporate name is part of your handle. For example, if you make widgets, your Twitter account should either be WidgetCo or a spokesperson, say WidgetBob. Tweet each day about something new/interesting in the industry.
3. Don’t blog for blog’s sake. If it’s pulling teeth for you to write an interesting post at least once a week…just don’t do it, or find someone else in your organization who has the talent/interest. Remember, the most interesting blogs aren’t necessarily from the CEO.
4. Just like brushing your teeth, check in twice a day. Tweet in the morning and update FB at night and maybe blog in between. But don’t be a slave to the output. If your social media activities take more than 15 minutes a day, you’re actively marketing—which is great, but maybe you should palm that off to the marketing department right about now.
5. Take 30 minutes to view the platforms and networks available to consolidate and build your social media activities (TweetDeck, Ning, Twitpic, etc.). A good place to start is Mashable, which has tons of great articles on getting started and how to pick tools. It’s a lot easier to update in one spot than hop around cyberspace.
6. Do not use a corporate social media tool to communicate about anything else except the corporation. You may be quite passionate about a political hot-button, but this is not the place to talk about it.
7. Don’t forget that it’s a transparent world. You know that political debate you’re having on your personal Facebook page? Unless you’ve set your personal privacy settings, anyone can see it. If you think that there could be repercussions to employers, colleagues or industry pundits knowing your stand—delete it.
8. Don’t let someone else post for you. Of course many CEO’s and spokespersons rely on agency or in-house talent to suggest topics or maybe even lay out a few bullet points…but no one should have access to any social media account that has your personal name on it. The term hacking comes to mind…
9. Fess up to connections. It’s not just the media who should adhere to full disclosure rules. If you have a vested interest in something you are blogging/tweeting/Facebooking about—state it upfront. Honesty is still the best policy.
10. Use links, photos and video. You know that saying, “a picture tells a thousand stories?” And links are great—they show connections between you and others and encourage outside entities to link back to you.
This article was originally published in Landis Communications Inc.’s (www.landispr.com) e-newsletter, Backtalk. It is republished here with permission.