If any of your customers use smart phones or the Internet, then you probably should be using social media to help get the word out about your business. Doing it and doing it well are two different things though. There are some pitfalls to avoid and some good rules of thumb to remember. You don’t want your business to accidentally come off as “anti-social.”
Here are some examples of ‘Anti-Social Behavior’ to avoid:
Not attending the function – AKA: Not keeping up with your posts and updates. There’s a sweet spot of about twice-a-day for posting to Facebook, and Twitter works best if you can be online all the time. Twitter is like an all day party, and Facebook is like your daily coffee break. If you plan on using either platform, you should approach your daily posts like that. Make sure your Facebook account is taking regular “coffee breaks” and chatting with its followers at least twice a day. Make sure you program or participate in tweeting all day long to keep your profile active and constantly connecting.
Being a Debbie-Downer – AKA: Posting the wrong content. What you want to post isn’t always what people want to see. Considering the two metaphors mentioned above (a coffee break and party), people tend to use social media when they’re looking to relax or network for business. Consider mixing up some fun and light-hearted content along with the more serious content you may have to post. Also, remember: Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Our short attention spans tend to favor pictures versus long written posts.
Talking only about yourself – AKA: Doing too much self promotion. Yes, you are online to promote your business, but do you have to rub it in everyone’s face? Building your social media audience through non-promotional, informational, and funny posts is the best way to approach daily social media management. Your audience will be there when you need to make an announcement if you keep them interested. Consider committing to a 4-1 formula (non-promotional to promotional) when brainstorming what you want to talk about online.
Being too shy – AKA: Not participating in the conversation. It’s one thing to post on a regular basis. It’s another thing to actually get to know your online followers by participating in conversations with them online. A very small percentage of your followers are going to like, share, favorite, tag or comment on a post you make on behalf of your business. Of the very few that do, you must realize that they are probably your most loyal customers and most likely to refer business. To put it in Malcolm Gladwell language – these are your mavens.
Mavens are the people in social groups that others rely on to get information. They tend to be the friend you know that is always reading magazines and, nowadays, is online getting the latest and greatest information. If you have mavens commenting and sharing with you, jump in and keep the conversation with them rolling. They’re crucial to building your reputation.