There are thousands of articles out there ready to tell you which social media tips and tricks will do X, Y or Z for your company. Many of those are absolutely correct. However there are also various tips and tricks that may have worked initially but are not as effective now, and there are definitely a few that should never have been given!
After reading HubSpot’s article on the same topic but for marketers, I wanted to create a list of tips that as facility managers, you can safely ignore.
1) You Must Be On Every Social Site
There are an overwhelming amount of social sites, but you shouldn’t feel the need to stretch yourself across all of them! For example, Instagram and Pinterest are popular for a much different audience and don’t really apply to facilities management. Currently, we have found the most success on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google +. Each company is different, and there is no right or wrong answer for where you should be active. However, under no circumstance should you ever feel the need to be on every social site, for our industry, it just isn’t necessary or a beneficial use of your valuable time. To determine where to allocate your resources, experiment on the sites you think your audience is participating, and make your decision based on your engagement levels.
2) Only Post Messages About Your Organization
No one wants to listen to someone who only talks about themselves! One of the best analogies I have ever been given about the concept of social give-and-take was treating it like a party. Talk a little about yourself, a little about something related but not directly about you, and always ask questions to the person you’re speaking to. This type of communication keeps your audience interested, and allows for you not to come across as “pushy”.
3) Social Should Replace Email Notifications
This is especially not true for facilities managers. Social should be in addition to your regular communication tools. Never send out an emergency message just through social. Think of it as a backup, to be sure everyone had the chance to see your message.
4) Social Should Replace Anything
While on social media it can be tempting to let it take over certain aspects of your office, like customer service or your building newsletter. Social should always be seen as an extension of something else in your company.
5) Send Out Auto Messages to All of Your New Followers
Some social media blogs will tell you to send a direct message to any new followers asking them to connect with you on other sites. A few scheduling tools will ever automatically do it for you! If you want to respond to new followers definitely feel free to do so. However, send messages that are individually tailored to that follower. No one wants to be on the receiving end of a bland, mass-produced message. It is usually better to not say anything than to send out the same message to all of your new contacts. However, this is not the same as thanking them for following, that is very common and is a well-received practice.
6) Autopublish the Same Message Across All Sites
This is one of the most obvious ways to tell your following you don’t care, and you’re only on social because you were told to be there. Share different content across different sites, after all, your fans aren’t all the same! At iOffice, we have found success by posting industry and work related content on LinkedIn, news articles and blog posts on Twitter and Google+, and have focused mainly on visual content and company news on Facebook.
7) Follow Everyone Who Follows You
You definitely don’t want to come across as standoffish or desperate, so only follow people you actually would gain useful content from. Never feel the need to follow out of guilt.
8) Ask For “likes” From Followers
This used to be a wonderful way to spark engagement with your following! However, recently Facebook has decided to crack-down on companies asking for likes or follows to keep their site fun and relevant to their fan base. To read more about the change, you can access the Business Insider article here. However, don’t let this discourage you from asking for retweets and likes from other sites. Currently, Facebook is the only known social site to punish brands for asking.
9) Delete Negative Posts
Part of being active on social is representing your brand, and while it may seem beneficial to remove negative posts related to you, it only makes you seem shallow and in genuine. The best thing you can do is politely respond to a negative comment publicly and mention responding to them privately to resolve the issue. Then do so. This shows your attention to your customer’s needs, while keeping the majority of the customer service aspect between you and the other individual. Of course, there are always exceptions. Feel free to remove posts that contain profanity, or that are not negative feedback but simply spam posts.
10) You MUST Have a Social Media Policy
We just published a how-to article on creating a social media policy, however not all companies should feel the need to have one! If you have experienced issues with employees not understanding their boundaries or expectations for social, adopting a policy could be a good way to clarify how they should act. Yet if everything is going well, and you haven’t had any negative experiences, there shouldn’t be a need for more restrictions!