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August 9, 2012

Social Media – The 10 Rules of Engagement

Standing apart from a crowd through social media will always be an important part of your business. Social networks are constantly growing with new users and new businesses. With so much competition, and so many potential customers, you need to know how to keep the audience engaged in order to maintain a relationship with them.

Here are the ten rules of engagement that you need to keep in mind as you plan your social marketing strategy.

1. Engage your followers.
It should come as no surprise that the number one rule of social engagement is to engage and be social. You cannot sign up to be a part of a community and then sit in a corner by yourself doing nothing but throwing out a few product descriptions.

You need to take the time to build trust with your followers before you can start pitching sales to them, so make sure you start out with a lot of interaction.

2. Stay consistent.
Stick with what you know and what you are known for. If you are a jewelry designer, focus on topics about making unique pieces. Don’t confuse your followers by going off on a rant about credit card rates. You can mix it up from time to time, but you want to stay consistent on what topics you choose.

3. Be constant. It happens to all of us. We start out full of energy, stay up-to-date on all of our posts, and then slowly we start to pull back and drop off. Instead of changing a status update daily, we slip down to once a week or every two weeks. This can have a negative impact on your social marketing strategy.

Write down your daily tasks and stick with it. Decide how much you can do every day and schedule the time to do it. Whether it’s changing your status on Facebook once a day, sending out a tweet every hour, or leaving comments on a few of your favorite blogs, stay consistent. This is the only way to make sure people don’t forget who you are.

4. It’s not all about you. Have you ever been around someone who does nothing but talk about himself? It’s not exactly stimulating conversation. You don’t want to be the person who has no interest in what other people have to say. Share the things you need to about yourself and your business, but don’t forget to take the time to find out what other people have to say and what they want to hear.

5. Be response-able.
If a follower takes the time to leave you a comment or asks for a retweet, make sure you give them a response. By keeping the conversation going, you are keeping others fully engaged. Positive or negative, always take the time to respond to what others are saying.

6. Search for people. If you aren’t a celebrity, then you probably won’t have thousands of strangers beating a path to your social media door. If you want to get more followers, you need to go out and get them. Find people who are talking about the same things that interest you and start engaging them.

7. Be patient. Do not expect to be an instant success in social media. It takes a lot of time, practice and patience. Spend time working on your strategy and before long you will begin to see the results you want.

8. Spend time with it. Social media requires a hefty time investment. To be successful you have to be committed to the time you need to put into it. Keep to a schedule and you will be able to handle the demands that come from a social marketing strategy.

9. Represent your brand.
You spend enough time creating one, so you need to make sure your brand is being well represented. Find your message and stick with it.

10. Don’t forget to sell. You start with the engagement, and when the time is right, work on the sell. You are marketing for a purpose, and that purpose is to grow your business. You can’t do that if you aren’t making any sales. So, don’t forget your goal along the way!

Are you following the rules of social media engagement? What do you do to make sure you follow them? Share with us!

Dawn Pigoni of Be Social Worldwide is a certified social marketing specialist and a social media virtual assistant. Dawn offers superb social networking, social marketing and social bookmarking to WAHMs, Small Business Owners, Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, and Coaches who desire to bring stunning internet presence through social networking to their businesses. Get Dawn’s free report, Social Networking today & see how she can assist you with being Social Worldwide!