Social Media and Business

Since virtually everything is online now, your business should be too.  Perhaps you have a website and have left it at that.  That was fine five years ago, but in order to thrive and get the presence you want, you have got to do more.

Many businesses are figuring things out and making their presence known on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  There are a few ground rules businesses should follow when using these sites.

1.  Never Link Your Business Site with Your Personal One.  No one wants to see drunk pics of their favorite business owner at last year’s holiday party, or family pictures, or even pictures of that trophy elk you shot this year (unless you own a hunting store that is).

2.  Keep the Interactions Brief.  When you set up your Facebook or Twitter account – set some ground rules about when you’re going to utilize these sites.  Don’t overwhelm people with your posts, but don’t underwhelm them either.  If you’re going to set something up, use it and use it well.

3.  Make it Fun.  Have regular contests that promote your business.  If you’re a dentist, then offer a contest for free cleanings or $50 off a service.  If you own an automotive repair shop, give away a free oil change or something with similar value.  People love contests, but make it easy to enter and make it fun.

4.  Keep the Information Pertinent.  There is nothing more annoying than subscribing to a business Facebook page and then being bombarded with annoying posts.  Keep your information about your industry, not filled with political opinions or needless advice.  For example, if you’re a doctor’s office, give healthy living tips…information that people will value and not get annoyed about.  Or, if you are a retail store, use these sites to promote sales, overstock items, clearance and whatever else you want to clear out.  If people get valuable information from you, they will value you as a contact.

5.  Keep it Professional.  As much as we want our businesses to be friendly and outgoing, we also desire a true professional.  Keep your online conversations respectful, positive and not so focused on your individual business that you drive people away.

There are many social media experts out there, but you truly don’t need one if you can educate yourself about how to set these sites up and begin using them appropriately and tailored to your specific needs.

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