WASHINGTON, November 6, 2013 — Let’s face it. Whether your business has been around for decades or is just starting out, there’s no getting around the power of today’s social media. What might have seemed a complete waste of time years ago, is now mandatory for every business. Small businesses in particular can actually leverage social media just as well as bigger corporations.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ are perhaps best known and widely used social media sites. In fact, they all serve different purposes. But the end result should be the same: directly reaching your audience.
While jumping onto the social media bandwagon can be a daunting experience for newcomers, you’ll find there are some general do’s and don’ts to watch out for as you learn how things actually work in this arena. Here are some tips for making your social media experience beneficial to your business.
Relax, Have a Little Fun
This almost seems like a cheeky thing to say. But if you’re not engaging your potential audience/customer base effectively, they’ll find that engagement elsewhere. True, you’ll still want to maintain a professional voice using valuable information you can share, but try not to be dull. Liven things up when appropriate, and always be creative.
As you build your list of followers, you’ll want to be accessible for any questions you might be asked. Additionally, it’s important to create your own dialogue for your followers to interact with. Try posting something every day. Even if you’re reposting a news item related to your field, that’s much better than allowing your social media account to languish. Inc. magazine suggests really digging into this and frequently interacting with your visitors.
Don’t Oversell It
If you’ve done your job right, anyone visiting your social media page should know quite a lot about your business. That’s the good part. But it’s easy to fall into a “buy my stuff” rut. If you push too hard in that direction you’re going to lose interest and followers. Don’t worry. Once your network is locked in, they’ll also find value in the products and services you’re offering. Your task is not to bang them over the head with your product offerings every day. Find other topics to explore.
Where some companies go wrong is approaching social media with a complete lack of consistency. Consistency means you get the right traffic at the right place and time. Your social media handles should be consistent across platforms, whether you’re using Google+ or Facebook. Your brand should be easily recognizable. If that’s not the case in your situation, then make it so.
Keep it Visually Interesting
It’s been proven. Most people prefer a nice blend of information mixed with interesting graphics. Graphics–photos, drawings, charts and the like–help break up your text and make it appear more exciting. Careful attention to images will ensure a happy list of followers. Ideally, you should post a new image everyday. It can be from a company event, a flier, conference or anything related to your business.
While it’s easy to say the wrong thing online, and risk needing a virtual personal injury lawyer in the process, your best course is to promote the merits of your own business. Don’t libel your competition. Do spend at least 30 minutes a day, preferably in the morning, devoted to your social media accounts.
Building an active social media network might be challenging at first. But following these basic tips should make the process simpler.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.