Six steps to launching a new social media account

You’ve decided it’s time to create a new social media account for your company, but you’re not exactly sure where you should start. Whether you’re thinking about creating a LinkedIn Company Page, Twitter account, Instagram account or Facebook Page, you need to think about several factors before you dive in. Here are a few things to consider before you create a new social media account and push out your first message.

Identify your audience. Identify your target audience and determine who you want to reach. Most importantly, is your target audience on the platform you’re considering creating?

Spy on your competition. See if your competition is on the particular platform you’re interested in creating. If they are on a given platform, see who your competition is connecting with on that particular platform. Look at the different types of content they’re sharing. See what’s working well for your competition and what is not working as well. What types of content have the highest engagement?


Foter / CC BY-SA

Identify the content you’ll share. Ask yourself why people would want to follow you. What do you have to offer?  Give them a reason to follow you by positioning yourself as the expert in your given industry. If you’re in the insurance industry, consider sharing tips, industry news, original visual content (such as infographics and photos from conferences), etc.

Frequency. Ask yourself if you and your team are able to devote enough time to another platform. How much time do you have to tweet/post on the new platform? Don’t set expectations too high, meaning, don’t plan to tweet three times a day, if you only have time to tweet a few times a week.

Ensure voice/tone is consistent. Be sure there’s a designated person tweeting and not several. This will ensure your tone is consistent throughout. Make sure your tone is appropriate for the industry you’re reaching out to.

Determine your end-goal and be realistic. Are you looking to increase traffic to your website? Consider sharing company news, blogs and other pages on your domain. Maybe you’re looking to create overall awareness for your company. Share company news while sprinkling in relevant industry news that will pertain to your audience.

Don’t try to tackle too many goals at once. Stick to a few until you’ve perfected your approach and go from there.

Those are just a few things to consider before you jump into creating a new social media account. Have anything to add? Comment below.

Photo credit: Foter / CC BY-SA

Advertisements

Addison Wolfe celebrates milestone, lands recognition in Courier-Times

The Bucks County Courier-Times highlights a milestone for Addison Wolfe. The boutique real estate agency surpassed their $200 million sales mark last year, after only eight years of business. Headed by Art Mazzei, a retired schoolteacher, the agency specializes in high-end homes in Bucks County and the surrounding areas.

Mazzei dedicates Addison Wolfe’s success to their personal touch on each listing and quality service they give to each client.

Addison Wolfe, a client of Kimball Communications, is located in New Hope, Penn. Learn further about Addison Wolfe’s milestone in the Courier-Times article and short video interviewing Mazzei.

How to integrate social media in crisis communications


ePublicist / Foter / CC BY-ND

A crisis is a time of uncertainty that requires the careful management of information. If you don’t move quickly to present the facts and explain your position, then others will do it for you – and that puts the accuracy of the words and images they use beyond your control.

The words and images you use can either spell success and strengthen your future or damage your company’s reputation for years to come. The impact of social media on the crisis communications process has been significant.

Today information flows faster is more complex and independent. It is spread through multiple channels, and as a result, is often less reliable and more difficult to control. You often have just a few hours or minutes to communicate.

Social media must be fully integrated in your crisis communications plan. That means, your social networks are of equal import as other audiences and your community manager should be an effective communicator, as well as a media-savvy professional with appropriate technical skills.

Messaging must be also consistent with other channels, but appropriate for social networks. Candor is expected and an authentic voice is critical.  And, as crisis communications is a two-way process, listening through your social networks can inform your communications with many different audiences.

Above all, you need to consider and plan for all contingencies. Each type of crisis should be considered. Social media will play a critical role in communicating during and after natural disasters, terrorist attacks, cyber breaches and, of course, crises created by social media. But also consider its role in financial crises, human resources issues and (in the insurance world) claims and service issues.

Join me on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 at 11 a.m. EST for the IMCA webcast, “Integrating Social Media in Crisis Communications,” where I’ll explore these issues in more detail.

Know your audience: a content lesson from the middle of the woods

Don’t appeal to empty seats—know your audience.

Recently, a minor controversy flared up on a Facebook page for an outdoors magazine. In a web feature on getting fit for hiking, the lede read: “Doughy is a lifestyle choice.” Huh?

On certain fitness blogs or emblazoned on across a “fitspo” meme, such a statement wouldn’t be out of place. But to the readers of this magazine it seemed an odd crack aimed at heavy hikers. Most of the comments below the related Facebook post were some variation of this, from a commenter named Todd: “LoL I am doughy and I out hike lean athletes any day of the week. It’s not all about the cover. Over weight people can have very good fitness.”

If commenters were not taking the magazine to task for shaming bigger hikers, they were confused by the very nature of the article. That is, they didn’t understand why a hiker would need these fitness tips. As commenter Katherine quipped, “I got in shape for hiking by… hiking.”

So what’s going on here (aside from insensitivity)? If we examine this from a writing and public relations angle, it becomes clear the magazine made a basic, yet extremely common mistake: they misjudged their audience.

Under ever-increasing pressure to produce more and more content, companies sometimes forget for whom they are writing. They seek out new formats and approaches to writing quick blog posts and features, often mimicking what works elsewhere on the web. Though this can lead to content that is more interesting to readers, writers and brands have to keep those readers in mind. You can adapt a form or approach to mesh with the information and tone your audience seeks from you.

So let this little hiker dustup serve as a reminder: next time you sit down to write a new blog post, article, white paper or other piece of content, ask, “who is this for and what do the want from me?”