December 18, 2012
If you’ve been using social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter for a while, you have, no doubt, come across posts which have made you cringe. Yes I am talking about friends airing their dirty laundry – posting about their relationship break-ups, giving details of their ex’s shortcomings, only to make-up again. Their relationship status changes weekly from “single” to “in a relationship” and back to “single” again.
I understand you want someone to talk to if you’ve just been dumped, but posting things in your status often means it’s not just your friends who see it, but friends of friends and quite possibly the whole world, especially if your privacy settings are not properly set up.
In many respects, social media has replaced newspapers and magazines and people believe “if it is in print, it must be true.” Things are taken out of context, misunderstandings happen, friendships get broken and businesses suffer, all because of a single post. So give your updates some thought, because you never know who is reading.
Here are some dos and don’ts, if you are using Facebook and other social networks for your business.
1. People come to Facebook and other social media networks to have fun, upload pictures and connect with family and friends. So fit your business into that experience.
2. Do try out new things. Post funny pictures, inspirational quotes, ask questions, link to videos and see what your audience responds to the most.
3. Keep up with current events and sprinkle those into your newsfeed. People react quickly to what is going on in their neighborhood, industry and the world.
4. Encourage two-way communication and make it personal. When people respond to your posts, use their name, pay them compliments and engage in fun discussions.
5. Use the cover photo as a branding opportunity and post a few key points about your business. Then use the profile picture for your logo. That way whenever you post anything, your logo will be next to that message.
6. If you want people to ‘like’ or follow you, become interested in them first. Become a fan of their Facebook pages, connect with them on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter. And go one step further, comment on their posts or retweet their messages.
1. Don’t accept friendship requests from business acquaintances. Suggest they join your business page instead.
2. Don’t make the posts about you and what you like, make it about your visitors and their interests. You need to fit into their world instead of expecting them to fit into yours.
3. Do not and I repeat DO NOT try to sell your products and services via social networks. Your readers didn’t log onto Facebook or Twitter to be bombarded with marketing messages. Instead, focus on building relationships by providing helpful information and valuable tips. By posting great content, you keep reminding them of your brand and when they are ready to buy, your name will be on top of their list.
4. Don’t allow just anyone to post on your wall by adjusting your settings so that visitors can only respond to current posts. Otherwise you may find spammers plugging their products and services.
5. Don’t bury your head in the sand. If someone posts a negative comment, address it, don’t just pretend like it didn’t happen and hope it will go away. Feel free to delete any comments which use vulgar language, but if a reader has a genuine problem with your product or service, provide them with a solution. This can go a long way to show others you offer excellent customer service.
6. Don’t use bad language. Swearing, highly negative, controversial or offensive comments can ruin your reputation in a split second.
Remember, the more your visitors interact with you, the more of your posts will show in their newsfeeds and reach other potential customers. Search engines also watch the activity on your social networks and the more interaction there is, the better chances you have of ranking higher in organic searches.
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