Social Media Branding Law 4: Make the Right First Impression
For many prospective customers, social media could be the first impression of you and your business. Even if they’ve previously visited your website, they might be looking to social media to get more “social proof” of what you’re all about. You want to make sure that their first impression is a good one!
Here are a few key ways to manage that first impression:
1. Stay Professional: Eventually, you will get people complaining, in public, on your social media profile. It’s a given that brands will get some negative feedback, it’s how you deal with it that your new followers are going to notice.
Can you think of a recent case where a social media response went viral? Brands hit the headlines fairly regularly based on how they deal with followers on social media. Some of that is negative publicity, thanks to overly defensive business owners, or careless replies. However, much of the publicity is good, too!
You can choose whether to respond in a simple, yet polite, manner (and direct the customer to your support team), or you could even try injecting a little humor, depending on the situation and your overall voice. Whatever you do, never be rude back to customers, and make sure you do take the time to respond to public complaints.
2. Encourage Reviews: You can encourage your followers to review you in a number of ways. If you’re a service provider, you could simply include a note with your final product delivery, asking your client to leave a quite review and rating on Facebook. If you sell products, you could run a competition e.g. the most creative Instagram photo sharing featuring your product will win the customer a prize. The more social proof evident on your profiles, the more people will trust in your brand.
3. Don’t Leave Your Profile Empty! It’s not a good look when a visitor to your website clicks a link to one of your social media profiles only to see that you’re never there! Make sure that there’s a good mix of content there – a mix between informative and promotional posts, texts and images. And remember to be consistent in your posting schedule, or don’t bother at all!
4. Use Professional Images: All social media profiles will require an avatar. This one is pretty easy: just use a photograph of yourself, but make sure you use the same one across all social media networks that you use. If you can, it’s also a good idea to get professional social media graphics created. This means a decent Facebook cover image, a good Twitter background etc. This isn’t as important to your followers as your posts will be, but it still helps shape the first impression they get of you and your business.
5. Be Seen to Interact: Being seen to interact on your profile can also make a great first impression. Not only does it show that you have followers who like to interact with you, it also shows that you’re a “real” person. People will always prefer to follow real people, and engage in real conversations, than to follow brands who simply talk at them all the time.
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