If you’ve seen the Australian Financial Review today, you would have seen our article discussing how social media (and Twitter in particular) is being misused by a lot of Australian brands (even though some of you are doing a great job!). If you’re in the misuse category, here are six ways to make your social media presence rock:

1. If you haven’t already, take back your social media presence

We’re probably making some enemies by saying this, but outsourcing control of your social media accounts to an external agency is very risky. Why would you outsource your brand voice to an external agency? Remember, no one knows your brand better than you and integrating your social strategy across each part of your business at all levels is crucial in developing meaningful content and avoiding internal conflict/roadblocks.

2. Learn how to use the platforms

Getting the hang of a platform like Twitter is like learning to ride a bike – if you fall off, it’s public and everyone will laugh at you. Take the time to test out new social platforms before you go public and don’t be afraid to ask for help! An easy way is to set up private accounts (on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), have a play for a while and then ask someone to review your content. This will help you avoid making simple technical mistakes, making the platform easier for you to use.

Why publish links to Facebook on Twitter?

If you’re publishing Facebook posts to Twitter, then forget about Twitter.

3. Listen:What is your target market saying online?

What are your customers saying about you? Before you embark on a social media adventure, have a look at the existing landscape – you can learn a lot. Once you’re up and running, invest time in understanding the analytics available and how you can improve. Have a relatively large budget? Invest in a tool such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud to track your performance and funnel leads into your sales team. Review and then optimise.

Bunnings sausage sizzles are the best

How can Bunnings Warehouse use this information to create a positive customer engagement story?

4. Establish a brand voice and stick with it

If your brand was a person, what kind of person would they be? Hipster? Corporate ‘suit’? Expecting mother? Caring? The kind of voice that your brand projects, how it resonates with your target audience and how you communicate your content in this voice is critical to developing an online community. Once you’ve decided who your brand is, ensure that it remains consistent (avoid identity crises).

Oh, and be human. No one wants to follow an account manned by a PR robot.image

5. Engage in conversation (have we mentioned enough about not broadcasting?)

Imagine you’re on a date – no one wants to hear you talk about yourself over and over again. So why treat your potential customers like this? Social media’s greatest strength is that it is social. It’s about conversation and engagement. So why are you just transforming press releases into 140 characters? Now that you have a brand personality, it’s your opportunity to start engaging with your customers/prospective customers.image

Jetstar

Even though the customers issue is fixed straight away, responding quickly has created a positive engagement.

6. Create relevant and engaging content

Sorry, this means you actually have to do some work, but you don’t need to look far for great content. Usually great content is in your own business! Users love to see the faces and stories behind an organisation, as well as how products are developed and made. Start producing content that users will find interesting, and want to share and comment on. It’s this type of content that will lead to higher engagement with your audience.

Engaging biscuits

Oreo leveraging a popular topic to create engagement.

Did you miss the article? Read it at the Australian Financial Review