Q: Regarding new social media platforms, join or pass?
Betsy: From an event planner's standpoint, I'd suggest dipping you in the water before using it full scale.
Rebecca: If you’re interested in it and it matches what you are doing, go for it.
Cheval: Know your audience and your platform- if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit.
Betsy: A good example of that- Pinterest for the rodeo.
Q: For those of you who are running your own business, how did you start out with it in the beginning?
Rebecca: I read everything, and I listened to everyone who I thought knew something. There were a lot of failures along the way.
Cheval: You might have to take a job you might not like in order to have the income to give your own company time to get traction.
Betsy: When you first start out in the industry, it’s really about reaching out and getting to know people.
Rebecca: Reach out to other people and ask what works for them. They’ll most likely help. Everyone wants to help newcomers.
Q: How do you find your voice when posting on social media?
Cheval: Don’t interject anything personal- find the company’s voice and the message they're trying to put out there.
Betsy: I find the voice I need through knowing the audience, knowing your platform and knowing your mission.
Cheval: It helps to think like your audience. What do they enjoy seeing? What do they like to look at? - Make sure your message and voice match.
Q: What about more than one client? How do you handle the social media content?
Rebecca: In the beginning, I used different days for different clients. Once I got comfortable, I added more. Now, I use a content calendar for each client. I usually have a theme, a month or a day, depending on the client.
Betsy: Schedule it out.
Cheval: Test it out. Make sure it’ll look like you want it before anyone sees it.
Q: Graphic designs, do you do them yourselves?
Rebecca: Don’t do what you can’t do. I have a sub-contractor who handles that.
Betsy: Not my area to do it, but I, or my boss, always checks it before we send it out to the public to make sure it looks as it should.
Q: Regarding negativity, how do you recommend handling it?
Rebecca: Don’t address it. Once you do, then it becomes a ‘thing’.
Betsy: If it’s a question, answer it quickly and answer it once. If it’s a comment, ignore it- unless you can solve the issue.
Cheval: Don’t delete anything.
Rebecca: If you do something in attempts to handle it, do it offline- call them; get a feel for the tone.
Betsy: It’s good to always have a crisis plan if there is a legitimate complaint.
Rebecca: No matter what you do, the biggest thing is to always keep calm. Never go on your personal page and talk negatively back, you will get caught!
Q: What are the most important things to keep in mind when starting social media?
- Engage and listen to your audience
- Share other people’s content. You don’t know everything, and it’s okay that someone knows something different. Sharing content shows your audience that even if you don’t personally know the answer, you do know where the answer can be found- which leads to your credibility. But, make sure you READ it before you repost it.
- Always be learning. Keep up with what is going on, and the new ‘big’ trends.
- Admit and acknowledge failures. Sometimes there are different ways to do something. You need to know what works best for you, and what doesn’t.
- Reach out to people. Your network is online as well as it is face to face.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help- there are many people out there who are willing to help you.
- If you are posting content on different social media platforms on behalf of an organization or business, use different words but have the same overall message.
- When trying to figure out the best time to post content, test out your audience.
-> Schedule posts at different times of the day to see when you get the most views.
-> for twitter and Facebook = use analytics provided on the native platform
-> for Instagram = Akinator is a great app for tracking analytics
- If you have a budget, running ads is a great way to obtain more followers
- Airlines and hotels do a wonderful job of providing excellent customer service by effectively using social media – check them out!
- Have a personal brand
- Read constantly! You need to know what you’re talking about when you’re posting content on social media.
- When trying to get the attention of Millennials, think of what you and your friends are interested in, then tweak it for your organization or business.
- Houston Social Media Breakfast is a great way to network, and its free! Just buy breakfast.
-> t’s the 2nd Friday of every month.
-> Like them on Facebook – they post great internship and job opportunities