You’re a business owner. Everybody you know has a Facebook page. Every business you know has a Facebook page. By this point, you have probably broken down and set up a Facebook page of your own. (And maybe even a Linked In profile, a Twitter account and a Blog, too!)
But as your friends, fans and followers await your status updates… how many times have you looked at the blank box and thought ‘What the heck do I type in there?’ You’re not alone. As social media becomes an increasingly important tool for business, it becomes harder to know just how to use it effectively.
Here are three tips to update/tweet/blog by…
When you log into Facebook, you’re reaching your colleagues, customers and advertisers where they live. If they’ve become your ‘fans’ or ‘friends’ they are telling you they care about what you have to say – and they are giving you an important opportunity to speak to them. Start by listening. Ask questions, solicit opinions, follow conversations. Every day, people are talking about your business – here’s your chance to find out what they’re saying. And if it’s not as good as you had hoped, this is your opportunity to respond. Answer questions. Make changes. Take notes. Even if it’s hard to hear; this is valuable information.
When you’re ready to jump into the conversation, talk about anything except your company. Don’t make a pitch or herald your latest accomplishments. ‘Marketing’ on social media is subtle. It’s talking about what you have to offer, without talking about yourself. Share articles on your industry. Offer resources and opportunities to learn more. Become a source of valuable information about a topic your audience cares about. Build credibility, stay top of mind, and when it’s time to do business, they’ll know where to find you.
People don’t engage in social media to interact with corporations. They want to interact with people. And when they encounter their favorite businesses in the social realm, they want those businesses to act like people. Ask, listen, share, engage, educate – Let them in. Social media is about conversation. It’s about relationships. Don’t speak in taglines or keep your distance. Intimacy builds loyalty. They already ‘like’ you – remind them why.
When in doubt, think of social media like a cocktail party. If you get stuck talking to someone who only talks about himself, brags about all his accomplishments, or tries to sell you his product, you’re going to look for an excuse to walk away. But if you meet someone who is knowledgeable in an area you care about, has interesting stories and resources to share, and wants to know what you think and feel, you’ll be happy talking to him all night.