There is a lot of social media advice out there and it can be tough to know where to start. You should definitely develop a strategy and do some planning before launching, but don't let extensive planning and the need for perfection prevent you from getting started. Here are five tips that you can use now to create content for a social media program, even in a large organization. But, before you launch, make sure you have buy-in on all of these rules from key stakeholders. If not, you'll face an uphill battle after you are already active.
1. Be Transparent
When it comes to social media, the best content is transparent and honest. I believe this is the most important tip when writing social media content.
For example, if your company is running a contest, post the terms and conditions. Clearly state who can participate and what constitutes a violation. You can be sure before someone "Likes" your page or follows your blog, they are going to want to know your company can be trusted. And if you write something that turns out to be false, blow the whistle on yourself and make it right.
2. Be Helpful
This tip is especially true if your company is interacting with consumers. Companies who help their customers get talked about (i.e. Best Buy, Home Depot). On that same note, companies who fall short and aren't able to deliver solutions get talked about. It is important to set clear expectations here. If you don't have the bandwidth to respond to everyone, then make it clear how they can contact you for help. Managing expectations will help you help your customers. However, a good rule of thumb is if you respond to a problem, you own it.
3. Speak in Your Brand's Language
It's essential that everything you say online "sound" like your brand. If you are in a role that requires you to be active online, it's crucial you are familiar with your company's "brand speak." Additionally, third parties that consult on behalf of your company need to be educated on your brand's colloquial tone. Skittles does an excellent job of posting statuses that are unique and truly resonate with the brand. The statuses average 1,000 comments and over 10,000 likes.