Help! How Do I Use Social Media?

While most social media accounts are free, the maintenance of those accounts can be a daunting expense in both time and personnel.  You need to be as efficient as possible in your time with social media or you may find yourself drowning in comments, blog posts, and requests that don’t meet your goals.  Here are some basic tips for the efficient use of social media for your organization. 1) Decide your social media goals.  Is it HR?  Marketing?  Branding?  It’s important to set your goals first so you know which social media tools to use.

2) Use the tools that meet those goals.  Facebook tends to be the “The Yellow Pages” of social media – people go to it first and expect a basic site.  However, how you use other sites, and which other sites you use, should be based on your goals.  If you are using social media for HR, try LinkedIn.  People tend to look at LinkedIn for jobs and networking. If you are trying to market, use interactive posts. For example, National Geographic elicited over 49,000 likes and over 4,000 shares in 2 days asking people to send in pictures of their dogs. Blogs are great for longer messages and accessing a more engaged audience.  Twitter is best for quick bites of news or directing people to your main website.  Pinterest is good for attracting creative thinkers and DIYers.

3) Keep the conversation informal.  Respond respectfully but conversationally to commenters.  With the creep of PR and marketing people seek the authentic.  Show them your authentic self on social media.

4) Respond to posts.  Your clients are reaching out to you, do not waste the opportunity to engage with them.

5) It is better to have good social media than more social media.  You do not need an account in every social media space.  Instead, pick the few that will help you reach your goals and ignore the rest.  People will not notice that you are not on every space, they will notice a poorly maintained site.

Social media is here to stay but you don’t have to exhaust all your resources to make it work for you.

What are your struggles with social media?  Has social media been helpful for your brand?