By Garrett Smith
In June, I had the pleasure of presenting with Kent Peddie, CSP, of Precision Snow Removal at the 2016 SIMA Snow & Ice Symposium about the pros and cons of social media. Our presentation centered on how to best use social media to your advantage and what to avoid. Social Media DO’S That Help Your Company DO use images and videos in your posts
. Content with relevant images leads to 94% more shares than similar content without images, and you’ll easily see double the engagement on Facebook for posts with video in your audience’s news feed. DO provide fun and interesting information
. You want to be seen as a reliable information source, sure, but that doesn’t mean only providing links about how great your company is at managing snow. Use Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels to share funny stories you find, news about local events or teams, and quick facts about snow, ice and the weather in general that clients might find surprising. DO engage with your clients/audience
. Remember, social media is not one-way communication, where you post things and get clients as a result. Social media is all about interaction. When someone comments on one of your posts, or asks a question or even shares something of their own, don’t ignore it. Respond and engage! If you can do that each day, you’ll be ahead of the competition. DO monitor your professional reputation
. Getting a bad review or public complaint will happen, so it’s important that you constantly monitor what is being said about your company on social networks. If something negative is said (or posted), respond in a positive, professional, pleasant manner. Invite anyone with an issue to contact you privately, and for everyone else, thank them for the insight, express appreciation for their attention and answer their questions.
Social Media DON’TS That Kill Your Company
DON’T just talk about yourself/your company
. Everything you share via social media should be relevant to your company and your clients, but that doesn’t mean it all has to be about you - in fact, most of it shouldn’t be. If your Facebook page is nothing but calls for new clients, coupons or deals, and office announcements, even your loyal clients will stop paying attention pretty quickly. Share useful information about facility or home management, your local area, events and other goodies that people will enjoy even when they aren’t thinking about their snow and ice management contractor.
DON'T mix your personal and professional social media accounts
. This is a carryover from keeping professional distance in the real world, and should be a no-brainer, but there’s always someone. Even if you’re not posting pictures of yourself getting plastered at that three-day “professional development seminar,” keep your private life private. Get your clients to be fans of your professional Facebook page. Don’t invite them to “friend” you on your personal account. You’ll be very happy to have that distinction in place the first time you meet a problem customer online. DON’T start and stop
. The worst thing a company can do when it comes to social media is to start, stop, start again, and then stop. Infrequent or ineffective social media can become a major liability, so if you can’t commit the money and time to do it properly (consistently posting and participating on business days), don’t start. That said, if you do get started, make sure you are committed to consistency!
Keep these tips in mind, and your company will be well on its way t social media success! Garrett Smith is founder of WNY Snow Removal in Orchard Park, NY, and Pitch+Pivot, a sales and marketing agency for startup companies. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @garrettsmith.