Let me start by saying that not every business needs to have a presence on every social media. There needs to be strategic reasons for spending the time to engageĀ  the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr. In addition to a plan, there needs to be somebody who vigilantly executes the plan. You cannot open a social media account and just expect it to start working to bring you business. As with anything, it takes time and energy.

While Twitter is perfect for getting feedback from your market, LinkedIn is better suited for professional networking. Each platform has its specialty. Once you figure out what you expect from your efforts, you can figure out which platform will work best for you. Establishing the social media plan best for you is another topic for another time.

Whichever platform you decide, follow these tips for representing your corporate brand.

1. Consistency: Through whichever media you choose to communicate your message, communicate it with consistency. Everything from the words that are used to the way that company employee headshots are styled to the basic logos, colors and fonts should be done in that visual language of your company brand.

2. Relevance: Only post information that is relevant to your business and your customers. Be a resource to your customers by posting daily tips or helpful articles. Give them a reason to follow your social media accounts!

3. Professional: As fun as it can be, social media could be pretty embarrassing if personal information leaks to your business contacts. Keep all of your interactions professional and only post and tag photos that are appropriate for the office. Keep your personal contacts separate from your business contacts with separate accounts. Trust me, it is worth the hassle.

4. Frequency: As I said before, create a plan and follow it. Keep your interaction frequent. The more you post, the better chance you have at getting found when needed. Repetition will reinforce your brand, its image and corporate mission.

5. Personality: The reason these platforms are so popular is because they are an extension of your personal voice. Even in the most corporate of platforms, you still get to have a photo displayed with your interaction… if not more options for customization. Don’t be a corporate robot in fulfilling the first four tips. Communicate with panache and let your personality come through.

Before venturing out on the social medias of today, have a purpose. Don’t do it just because everyone else is doing it. Do it because you have done your research and you think that it would be a useful tool to help execute your business plan.

Join me next week when I discuss the downfalls of Logo Design Contests and Crowdsourcing.

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