Keeping it professional on social media

Written on 15 October, 2015 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories: Social Media | Tags: marketing, small business, social media

Building a strong social presence for your business takes a lot of skill. Not only do you need to ensure you have plenty of stellar content to entice people to return, you also have to find that balancing point between personality and professionalism. Learn how to be perfectly poised across all social media platforms with these handy tips.

Understand the consequences

Maintaining your professional persona is incredibly important, especially for B2B businesses. Once a potential client begins to view your business as unprofessional or in any way untrustworthy, you’ve caused damage to your brand that will be extremely difficult to rectify. It’s a harsh punishment for a lapse in judgement when retweeting or updating a status, but in a world where business mistakes go viral all the time, it’s one you need to be aware of.

Consider access

Start to safeguard your business by being strict about who has access to which channel. Do you have one team that will be in charge of updating all platforms? Does the CEO like to take over the Twitter account during industry events? Create access lists and ensure that everyone on them has had social media training and understands the potential risks and benefits of engaging through public spheres.

Be present and vocal

Once you’ve stepped into social media, you need to maintain a consistent presence and provide relevant and interesting content on a regular basis. Share relevant news stories you think your customers will care about, reveal company updates, carry out your own industry research and release findings bit by bit. Remember that for sites such as Facebook, photos or made-for-social images tend to carry more weight than words, and that on sites such as LinkedIn, you need to keep the focus business-oriented.

When to take a stance

Always remember that while polarising issues might engage you personally, there’s no way your business should be commenting on them unless they directly relate to your industry. If there is a big debate about something your business feels strongly about, you should solidify your position and run it by trusted staff members before going live.

Be gracious about criticism

If you have a social presence, you’ll probably find yourself hit with complaints from dissatisfied clients at some stage. Deal with these as quickly and respectfully as possible, and try not to allow yourself to become emotionally involved – the last thing you want is to get into a public disagreement with a client. Not only will you lose that particular client, you could find that your unprofessional attitude is quickly shared throughout the web.

Separate personality from personal

It’s also worth thinking about the difference between personality and personal information. It’s great to give your social presence a flavour of the type of business you are – whether it’s fun, energetic or reliable – but it’s a bad idea to let your LinkedIn updates veer towards the intimate. No one needs to know you’re having a fight with your partner or that you had poor service in a restaurant the night before.

Worried you’re not getting the balance right? Get into the habit of creating monthly social media content calendars where you can organise and approve posts in advance, and check any timely posts or tweets with a trusted co-worker before publishing.

Contact WebCentral today to learn how we can help you build your business through social media.