January 25th, 2013
Jennifer Web Design Tags, , , , , ,

Using Social Media the Right Way

When pondering the idea of incorporating social media into your business plan, the answer is a no-brainer: yes. Social media has such a huge presence today that it would be silly for your business to not entertain the idea of it. Google any business out there and most likely they at least have a Facebook page.

The problem is, too many businesses adopt these platforms without fully understanding them. While it’s great to want to join the rush, that sense of urgency can be detrimental if you don’t know what you are doing. Below are common errors that businesses should avoid when it comes to maintaining their social media presence.

1. Don’t use it Strictly for Marketing and Sales
Yes, the main focus behind social media is to help market your business and drive numbers, but this cannot be your sole purpose. As a rule of thumb, only 5% to 10% of your social media activity should actually be self-promotional. Instead you should take that other 90% and focus it on getting to know your clientele. The great thing about social media is that it allows you to build relationships. Converse with your followers, answer questions and engage them. It makes readers feel more connected to you, and shows you care about what they have to say, not just the numbers you pull in.

2. Keep the Self-Promotion to a Minimum
As touched on above, keep the self-promotion in check. Nobody likes to hear someone ramble on about how great they are. It’s in bad taste, and can very well cost you customers. Once again, you need to be engaging and interested in what others have to say. It always helps to look at something from someone else’s eyes and be equipped to deal with constructive criticism. Therefore, you should make it easy for people to get to you. Create a blog that they can comment on, and comment back to let them know their voice has been heard. Listen to your customers. They drive your business.

3. Quality over Quantity
We often meet with clients who are confused as to what social media networks to join. A new network is created weekly, and it’s confusing sometimes to know the right ones to take part in. But that’s the great thing, it’s your choice as to what you think would be most beneficial to your business. While we advise clients it may not be a bad idea to have a presence on a variety of different networks, if they are not really suited to your needs, it may be best to cut your losses. Neglected social media doesn’t help anyone. If you create an Instagram account, but then fail to upload photos, it’s not going to help your business any. It would be better to not have the account at all. Research your competition and see what they are using and then gauge if you think it would be best for you to create an account. You don’t have to on everything.

4. You don’t have to Compete with Starbucks or Nike
Small business owners don’t have the resources to keep up with fortune 500 companies, and that’s okay. A lot of these companies have employees who are paid to just handle their social media accounts. For instance, Delta Airlines has someone on staff that runs their Instagram account for them because they have the time and money to do so. That doesn’t mean that you have to feel defeated. Small businesses can gain a lot of exposure through social media networks. Creating giveaways and “freebies” is a great way to gain Twitter followers and Facebook likes. Entice your readers with something they will appreciate. If you are say, a restaurant owner, advise people that the 100th like on your page will get that person a free meal at your establishment. Contests are a fun way to get people involved, and who doesn’t love free stuff?

5. You get out of it, what you put into it
Maintaining your social media networks takes time. In order to gain business you need to stay up to date. That means, tweeting or updating your Facebook status often and maintaining your blog. People like seeing what you are up to. When they see a dormant blog or Twitter feed it can turn them off. It is more than just having a presence; it is making sure that presence is known. Set yourself apart from your competition and get involved with your clients. They will be happy to know there is someone out there who is listening and responding to their thoughts and concerns.

How is your social media presence? Are you guilty of some of the above? As always Jennifer Web Design is happy to help with all of your social media related needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us at info@jenniferwebdesign.com or (702) 823-1103.