I have “friends” on Facebook who love to promote their jobs and businesses through their status updates. I think what bugs me most about this is the fact that as much as I would love to support them, harrassing me from their personal accounts is extremely frustrating. Invite me to a company website. Direct me to a website. Tell me to follow you on Twitter. But please, spare me from the personal status updates that take over my mini-feed. I hate it. In fact, I have deleted people over this. In light of the situation, I have decided to create a list to help those with their own businesses to use social media for their benefit, and how to make people into customers, rather than annoying them.
1. Stay Connected
Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, try using multiple forms of social media; but make sure you pick the right ones! Not every business needs a Twitter account or a blog, so do your research and pick a few that work best for your company.
2. Post Frequently
Now that you have created your accounts, make sure that you update them. Nobody will stay interested if you don’t keep them fresh and new. Every form of social media is different, but posts should stay consistent amongst all platforms. Twitter and Facebook accounts should be updated very frequently, whereas blogs can be updated less often.
3. Stay Relevant
In addition to posting frequently, make sure that when you do update a status or write a post, that it pertains to something present. Try not to discuss subjects so far in the past; your followers might not remember or care.
4. Offer Something Useful
Reward your followers and friends by giving them something like a coupon or advice. Everyone likes to get something in return, so thank them and most likely, they will share it with their friends. Before you know it, their friends will want to follow you, and then their friend’s friends, and then their friend’s friend’s friends… you get the hint.
5. Know Your Audience
Try to stay casual on your social media accounts, but remember not to cross any boundaries. Not all of your followers or friends might find something funny, so try to refrain from any controversial topics. The last thing you want to do is insult someone.
6. Encourage conversation
Ask a lot of questions. People love sharing their opinions, so give them the opportunity to do so. The great thing about social media is that everyone has a voice to be heard. It is an easy way to gain some feedback and learn how your followers feel.
7. Listen and Monitor
Although it’s great people can use social media to inform other of their opinions, not always will your followers be your biggest fan. Monitor the negative comments people make and ensure that anything vulgar or inappropriate is deleted immediately. Use the feedback to fix problems and change for the better.
8. Be Competitive
Be aware of how your competitors are participating in social media. You don’t want to fall behind and lose friends or followers to one of your competitors. Social media is open to everyone, so you have the opportunity to see what your competitors are doing; take advantage of this. Look at their techniques and learn from them.
9. Make “Friends”
It is always good to be generous when following back a follower, especially on Twitter. This way, you can directly respond to them and show your interest in what they have to say. In addition, you will make each person you follow feel special and unique.
10. Don’t Over-Promote
Your friends and followers already decided they want to stay updated with your social media accounts, so don’t bombard them with self-promotions. Most likely, they are already aware of what you have to offer so there is no need to keep updates strictly promotional. Connect with them on a more personal level and build a relationship.