Social Media a little alien to you? Not sure how to Social Media for your business?

We’ve all dabbled in the Social Media pond in our personal lives, whether it be Facebook with your friends, or Twitter with your idols, its all great fun, but sharing personal information to your friends is completely different kettle of fish, when it comes to promoting your business!

Social Media serves many purposes:-

  • Search Engines love it, the more you do, the more interaction you get, the more they will love you.
  • It creates a personality for your business and a medium to share ideas/thoughts.
  • It’s cost effective, you can potentially engage with hundreds of customers at the press of a button!

Whether your social savvy or the kind of person that panics at the thought, it’s a key media for generating awareness and new opportunities.

In either case, you are taking steps to boost your online presence, and that’s going to take a little bit of effort. We don’t always get it right! So in order to minimise mistakes, here are a few quick “dos” and “don’ts” to make sure your social media profiles show the best side of your business.

Do: Make it easy!
We are all busy people and finding the time to engage with your Social Channels can be difficult to come by. So invest in a tool to help you streamline the process. When I say invest, this doesn’t mean spend money, just research the Social Channels you wish to engage with then look at tools that will help you achieve that. HootSuite and TweetDeck are perfect for Small Business Owners. There is no financial investment, you only need one system to log into and engage with your Social Channels. You can link up your Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn channels and with a click of a button you can engage with them all.

Do: Know Your Audience
When it comes to publishing content on social media, it’s critical to know your audience and the type of content they prefer on each channel. What are they talking about? What does your business do, that would be of interest to them? In many cases you will have a high proportion of the same followers on Facebook and on Twitter, so cross-posting the same content may not be effective for engaging both audiences, so think twice before you “spam” the same content on every one of your social media accounts. Another consideration is the limitations of each platform; for instance, a long post on Facebook would not work in the 140-character limit of Twitter.

Do: Promote, Promote, Promote Your Social Pages
The purpose of opening Social Channels is to engage potential customers, often small business owners fail to grasp the importance of creating buzz about their Social pages. Hours are spent creating and optimizing their social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, but their customers are still unaware that those pages exist!

So, promote them. Include your social media icons on your website, business cards, email signatures, newsletters, and in-store signage. Ask people during conversations or at the point of sale to join your business online. Turning an already-existing customer into an online fan or follower is easier than you would think…if you just ask.

Don’t: Brand Inconsistently Across Your Pages
We have all experienced it: you follow a brand on Facebook, but when you visit their website, it doesn’t even look like the same business. Avoid this error by consistently branding your business across your entire Web presence; from your logo and imagery to fonts and even the way you spell your business name. By streamlining your Web presence, you not only ensure a smooth user experience but also present a professional identity online. Make sure you are using a consistent business name, logo, address, colours, and message on all your assets, not just on your social media profiles, but also on directory listings, online advertising, landing pages, your business website, and your blog to establish your brand online.

Don’t: Set and Forget
One of the most common social media mistakes made by Small Businesses everywhere is viewing social media as a one-time thing rather than an on-going process. Your fans and followers connect with you on social media because they want useful content and information, but they won’t come back if you don’t give it to them. So, you need to regularly post fresh content like photos and videos, coupons and promotions, useful tips, and more, in order to engage your audience. Then, review your audience’s responses on each channel to determine what types of content work on each platform and how often you should post. Remember that building your Web presence and driving engagement is a marathon, not a sprint, so you won’t see results overnight. But keep at it; the more you become an active participant in your discussions online, the more your audience will come back and share your business with their friends.

Social media can provide boundless opportunities for you to connect with your customers online. Following these few simple social media dos and don’ts will ensure that you and your business reap the benefits of social media marketing.

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