By Lawrence Reaves
Feel intimidated by social media? You’re not alone. Many small business owners are tempted to hop on social media but don’t quite know what to do once they are there. They’ve heard it can help make your business a success – but don’t understand how it works.
Two of the most popular social media tools are Facebook and Twitter. Let’s focus on them for now. But our planning tips are good common sense that will work with most social media.
Put someone in charge of your social media. Whether you assign someone in the office or you hire a freelancer/independent contractor, it is critical that someone has responsibility for your social media efforts. Without doing this, there is no “the buck stops here” and employees will often think that someone else has posted to the social media accounts.
Make a simple social media plan to start. Its easy to dream big and think of reaching hundreds of thousands of people and sending out dozens of Tweets or lots of messages, but for most companies your social media accounts will take time to build. Your company will probably also want to try different things, depending on promotions you are having and new products or services that are offered. Start with a simple plan and then adapt it by what is popular and according to your needs.
Consistency is key. One of the best things a small business can do with their social media is to be consistent. To post to Facebook every day, once or even a few times. And to send out a few Tweets to Twitter each day. By Tweeting or posting to Facebook only when you have time, you’ll miss connecting with followers. There are tools like HootSuite that will help you schedule social media in advance.
Show a little personality. Companies that are successful with social media find that if their messages are fun and informative, they get more and more followers. You simply cant send out “buy my products” over and over and expect it to work. Messages need to be fun and interesting. Social media is an opportunity to have an interactive conversation, to connect with potential and existing customers. So go ahead, and show a little personality. Just leave the lampshade off your head, this isn’t the place you want to show that much personality!
Remember: once its up – its up. This is something you’ll always want to keep in mind about using social media. One of the great appeals of social media is that you don’t have to write a lot to send out a great message. But because of this, it can be easy to be misunderstood. Sometimes humor can be taken the wrong way. It is best to review all social media before posting because once it is on your account, it will stay there. And if something seems controversial and in a bad light, it can easily go viral – not the attention you’ll want for your small business.
Fortunately social media is easy for most small businesses to use and enjoy. It is a great way to connect with new and existing customers. It can help to create a “buzz” about your products and services. Learn more about social media today!