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The do’s and don’ts of managing social media

By Michelle Heatherly

LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter, oh my!

managing-social-mediaYesterday, we shared how to leverage PR and social media to get and keep more clients, now we're going to talk about managing social media.

The sometimes confusing world of social media might have you feeling like Dorothy, trying to navigate a mythical brick road to find the answers you seek and unlock the mysteries. There are so many choices and detours along the way, and at each step people are giving you advice about the best methods to make it work for you.

Managing social media does not have to be scary – you just need to know the do’s and don’ts to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from your social media efforts and managing everything correctly.

Do create social media pages and links. Studies have shown that today, the majority of consumers and young professionals use social media for many business and personal connections. Many of them post opinions and reviews of companies and brands.

Don’t make it obvious that you are selling something. Your messages should strive to connect with your audience, provide information and demonstrate that you are a valuable resource. Provide useful content and incentives for customers to check you out. If you do it right, the sales will happen.

Do take your time with all information you distribute and make sure it is always appropriate. This rule applies whether it’s a long profile or just a brief tweet. The late-night talk show punch lines are full of examples from companies that get this wrong. Remember: In today’s lightning-fast information age, you can’t send something and assume that only a few people will see it. Even the smallest mistake or tactless comment can quickly go viral.

Don’t just post messages and information everywhere. A bit of research will help you find your target audiences, allowing you to better focus your efforts by going where they are.

Do continuously monitor and adjust your social media campaigns. You may need to experiment, fail and try again to get things right.

Don’t think of social media as a quick fix to all your problems. Although you might constantly hear that if you build it they will come, in reality you should consider a social media presence a long-term part of your outreach and media relations strategy.

Do work to keep your social media pages and information up to date. When there are people following you on social media, make sure that you’re going somewhere. Nothing will get customers to lose interest in you faster than clicking on your page to find the same old information and posts as the last time – and the time before that. While you don’t have to post something new every hour, it is important to schedule regular updates for your content.

Don’t use images or quotes without proper attribution. You might get away with it once or twice, but the risks aren’t worth it; the fines can be substantial if you get caught.

Do develop a thick skin. Some of the feedback you receive may not be positive. However, it is valuable, and social media provides a great opportunity to address any negative perceptions about your company right away.

Don’t give your employees free reign. Anything that goes out under your company’s name has the potential to come back and bite you. Make sure only designated individuals are posting to your company’s social media channels.

Do hire the right public relations agency to help you with all of this. At Axia Public Relations, we understand the advantages and pitfalls that come with social media. We can help you leverage this technology and manage your social media projects, and you can even download our e-books for additional guidance. No need to click your heels together, just give us a call.

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Michelle-Heatherly-axia-prAs director of client engagement for Axia Public Relations, Michelle Heatherly’s professional mission is to successfully integrate clients into the firm and to ensure they are personally delighted and their expectations are exceeded – every step of the way. Her personal mission is to live a life that matters and to inspire others to do the same.



photo credit: Photo Giddy via photopin cc

Topics: public relations, PR tips, inbound marketing, shared media

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