This post is continued from Part One of A small business owner’s guide to using social media by Phoebe Netto of Good Business Consulting
Just like society has golden rules and universal principles on how to interact with others, social media also has similar rules to operate by.
Social media is one of the greatest tools available to small-to-medium businesses and sole operators. You can communicate directly with your ideal clients without going through a ‘middle-man’ such as a journalist, advertisement or website.
When operating by the following rules, social media can deliver your message to new audiences, provide you with new connections, and act as a platform to share your expertise and thought-leadership:
(For the first three rules of social media use, click here).
4. No yelling in the hallway (or on social media)
Would you ever walk into a room full of strangers and announce, “I can take your business to the next level at half the price”? No? Didn’t think so. So don’t do it on social media.
If you notice that someone on your social media platform asks for a recommendation or complains that they can’t find a good provider of a certain product or service, then sure – feel free to suggest a solution or offer to discuss offline with them. You might even land a nice piece of new business. The point is to be helpful, with brings me to my next point.
5. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you
Use social media to share, give value, help others, provide helpful information, collaborate, and create a reason for people to want to know more about you and what you do.
You can give value and at the same time promote your business by sharing links to your blog, provide thought leadership, expertise and helpful advice. This shows that you are passionate about your industry area and gives people a non-confrontational and subtle way to experience your knowledge.
Make sure you also share other people’s blog posts, links to useful website, spread great social media content (such as tweets) from others, and promote other businesses (if worthy of promotion). Remember, it’s not all about you!
6. You have two ears and only one mouth for a reason
My mother always used to tell me this and she was right (as usual). Social media is not a forum for monologues. Those who do not interact or listen to what others are saying on social media will eventually find themselves very lonely (offline and online).
Worthless tweets and overactive robots cause more harm than good.
Instead interact with others by asking questions, offering advice and responding to other people’s online questions.
7. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Show your personality. People do business with people, not companies. So make sure show your personality so people can feel a connection.
Be sincere. You can’t fake relationships – even on social media. Put a smile on the faces of those who follow you.
When you follow these principles you are well on your way to building important connections with your ideal clients.
Phoebe Netto is the Managing Director of Good Business Consulting, a marketing and public relations consultancy for small-to-medium businesses.
Phoebe has a background in public relations and marketing, and takes these skills that are often reserved for big businesses with big budgets, and uses them to help good small businesses grow and meet their objectives.
www.goodbusiness.net.au (be sure to sign up for the Good Business Consulting newsletter and check out the blog while you’re there)