Like the web, social media has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. Of course, social media isn’t just for individuals anymore either.
Managing your business’s social presence can be time-consuming, but it can also be a very unique and important marketing channel for your business. Of course, if you aren’t careful, you can do more harm than good.
We wanted to provide some tips to help guide you down the social path, both here on McHenry Life as well as across other social media venues.
We hope the following tips will help you start using social media or improve your current usage of social media to grow your business.
- Formulate your goals and develop a strategy. Don’t be there “just because.” Like anything in business, it’s good to understand what you hope to get out of it and come up with a game plan. Once you’ve done this, you’ll find the next two easier to figure out.
- Start small. You don’t have to be everywhere, and in fact, you may find that you never need to join some social media sites.
- Where are your customers? One of the best ways to figure out which sites to use is by figuring out where your customers are.
- Don’t look at social media as advertising. Social media is about connecting on a more personal level. It’s about communicating, interacting.
- Be human. Even as a business, there’s a human side. Depending on your business, you might need or want to take a more formal tone, that’s okay. Just remember you are connecting on a personal level.
- Being human is all about building rapport and interacting. No one wants to simply be broadcasted to. Social media is two-way communication. Spend as much time listening as you do talking.
- And make sure that half of your talking is responding to what others are saying. And when you combine listening with talking, your response is more likely to be about them and what they are saying than you.
NOW all listing packages allow integrating your social media profiles into your listing. Add links to your social media profiles, pull in your Twitter feed, or embed a YouTube video right into your McHenry Life listing. Learn more.
- Know when not to get personal. Just like in life, sooner or later you will find yourself in a negative conversation. Maybe someone is disgruntled, or maybe they just like pushing buttons and riling people up. Either way, launching your own counter-attacks or getting overly defensive is a no-win situation for businesses. Hopefully, you’ve built up a good fan base and someone will come in to help defend you or ease the tension. But we encourage you to take the feedback as genuine and perhaps improve your business. Maybe you can even try to fix or repair the issue. If not, perhaps it is time to agree to disagree and end the conversation. If others see that you politely and genuinely tried to address an issue but the other person just wants to keep launching attacks, they’ll probably make you look better, not worse.
- Show your expertise, but not in a commercial way. If your business is a restaurant, talking about how wonderful your entrees are probably isn’t as exciting to your audience as you think. But sharing your special tip on how to prepare perfect pasta every time is. Likewise, if you offer oil changes, a couple of DIY tips will go a lot further in showing your expertise and building trust than offering a coupon.
- With this in mind, don’t be afraid to give something away. Your own favorite recipe, a top tax tips guide for small businesses that you created, etc.
Which social media venues do we recommend? The ones that you feel comfortable using and where your customers or potential customers are.