You have heard the success stories, you have seen your peers take advantage of social media’s potential for marketing and thrive. You could certainly use the buzz, but how do you go about building a social media strategy when working on a tight budget, with a team that hasn’t had the chance to hone their media skills?
Here are some basic dos and don’ts for fast and easy social marketing, guaranteed to leverage your business and expand your prospect pool.
Dos of social media for business
Keep a steady presence
Remember: an online presence is the first step, but it takes a steady effort to reach your goals. Many people set up accounts on just about every social network and then let them languish away, not sure what to post or how to build a following. Lack of time and poor planning are two of the main reasons why so many people let their social networking pages die. Make sure you can take time out of your busy schedule to maintain a steady online presence. Draw up a posting plan (for instance, a reminder to post on a weekly basis) and stick to it! It’s wiser to focus on just a few social networks (for example, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) rather than try to cover too many fronts.
Interact as much as possible
Some people think that, since the object is promoting yourself (or your business), all you have to do on social networks is share what you’re doing. This is pretty much missing the whole point. Fast and easy social marketing thrives on direct interaction and it works best when you truly interact with people in your group. You can do this by posting comments, answering questions in your area of expertise, re-tweeting/ sharing relevant posts or sending direct messages. Nurture two-way connections, they are the best way to build loyalty and trust.
Provide expert commentary
When you find an interesting article relevant to your field, don’t content yourself with sharing the link. A great way to highlight your expertise is to post the URL on your blog, accompanied by your own take on the article. Then your tweets and Facebook posts can lead to your blog post instead of the original article, which draws more visitors to your blog and, more importantly, builds you up as an expert.
Don’ts of social media for business
Don’t treat your social media pages as sales pitch boards
In other words, try not to employ the social media tools just for selling purposes. It is better to try and inform, educate and why not, keep your readers entertained? In fact, even the best sales people tend to forget that times are changing and nowadays, clients are communicating with you in social media because they don’t want to be sold a product, they want to make a conscious, informed choice based on who you are as a company and the novelty your products or services are bringing on the market.
Don’t overdo it!
It’s important to post on a regular basis, but don’t overdo it. Aggregator apps make it particularly tempting to kick off the day by sending out a dozen posts all at once on all your networks. You may think this will save you time, but many of your followers will lose interest when seeing too many posts in a row from you. It’s far better to space them out throughout the day or aim for fewer and more effective posts.
Don’t go negative
Not all your client responses should be positive, so don’t fret too much if some of the words you will read are not too positive, in fact this will add a great deal to your brand’s credibility. It is a bit unrealistic to get only happy reviews and customers. Also, don’t try and destabilize your competition by making negative comments about them. It will be better if you could emphasize your strengths and advantages rather than making claims about a competitor’s weakness.
If done right, social marketing can work wonders for your business.