Social Media has become increasingly important, not just in our lives, but within business too. Used correctly, it is a powerful medium which can be used to gather research, engage with customers, promote new services and increase brand awareness. This article aims to help small business owners develop some basic practises which will help them to make best use of social networks and build up their online reputation.
CWD’s Top 5 Social Media Tips
Arguably the most widely used social network, Facebook has become a pillar of the 21st century and provides a great way to share information, stay connected with friends, family and colleagues.
One of the first mistakes that many business users make is that customers want to hear about all of your latest promotions and the new tools which you have for sale.
Don’t promote yourself
When you’re making friends, do you try and sell them goods and services? No. The best way to begin developing a following is to post about up-to-date articles, information and news which is related to your business in some way, but also offers a way for customers to engage.
Offer Advice and Support
Change your current profile setting to be using Facebook as your page. This way you can then visit other companies firms, fan pages etc to offer tips and advice which you have learnt in the past and may be of use to another person. This could be as simple as suggesting a different recipe, instructing someone how to change a light bulb or how to clean a goldfish tank. Try to keep within the same genre as your business and you will begin to notice that your experience and willingness to help will lead to more likes, interaction and ultimately customers who have developed trust.
Don’t be repetitive
There are many social media services and tools available on the market which allow you to cross-integrate your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. One of the popular tools which can be a false friend, is the ability to post the same article, status or image across the different networks. This can have a number of negative impacts – you could easily bore your followers which will result in a loss and if you have the content on your website, having duplicated content can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings.
If you are unfortunate enough to receive a negative comment about a product or service which you have offered and the customer has posted it on your Facebook Wall, try not to take it personally. The best approach to a negative comment is to combat it quickly and constructively. If a situation is rectifiable, make sure that you actively pursue the issue and if possible post the resolution under the comment so that other potential customers can see you have dealt with a problem sufficiently.
Build a strategy
Often we see many businesses sign up to an array of different social networks without a particular plan in place. When starting out on social networks, make sure that you have a clear aim in mind of what you would like to achieve. For most, creating an active community is vital. Consider options such as promotions, interesting content and news which interests your customers and encourages them to share your posts and engage with them.