Dont do anything online that you wouldnt do in person
Imagine youre walking down the street, and you notice that heading toward you is a friend that's always trying to sell you something. This friend rarely appears to show any real interest in you, and it seems as if he is constantly trying to pitch a sale. What is your first instinct? Pretend you dont see him, turn around and head the opposite direction? Or force yourself to politely sit through another long conversation about a product that you already know youre not interested in? [more]
Think about it would you walk up to someone you havent seen in awhile and immediately try to sell him or her something without trying to have a conversation first? When customers walk into your storefront, you dont follow them around trying to push a sale. Generally, you let them know that youre there to answer any questions, and then give them some space to browse in peace. Remember and this is very important dont do anything online that you wouldnt do in person. This is a common mistake when it comes to social media. Many businesses that join FaceBook or Twitter immediately start posting sales and promotions. For many FaceBook friends or followers, this is a complete turnoff. It creates the same reaction as someone wanting to walk away from having a sale pushed at them.
So, the real question here is As a business owner, if making a sale and passing out online sale flyers isnt accepted in the social media community, why do I need to have an online presence in social media? Isnt that the main reason for a business to have a presence in Social Media? To make a sale? This brings me to my next point.
The most vital aspect of Social Media is communication
Effectively communicating with your clients helps formulate long-lasting relationships. Transparency and openness help to build trust. Social media is a great way to start building this trust. The key factor to communicating through social media is to share information not to solicit. Think about the kind of information that you could share with your social media friends that will not only provide them with useful information, but will have them looking to you as an expert in your field.
Steps to sending useful information through Social Media channels
- Define who your target audience is. Who are you trying to reach?
- Set up some goals. What is it that you would like to achieve?
- Increased brand awareness
- Reputation management
- Improved Search Engine Rankings
- Increased Relevant Visitor Traffic
- Improve Sales for a Particular Product or Service
- Know your business. Know your story. What is it that you would like to share with others?
- Can your business show off its work?
- Can you give prospects information they find useful?
- Once your goals are defined, you need to come up with some content objectives:
- Text Industry/company News, Tips
- Images/graphics what types of images could benefit your company?
- Audio Would a podcast be useful or helpful?
- Video interviews, how-tos, information sharing.
- Set up Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
- Start a blog.
Now that you have created content objectives, use those objectives to start communicating more efficiently with your clients. By building these long-lasting relationships, your customers will see you as an expert in your field and will keep coming back as long as that relationship and trust is maintained.