Social Media now a days is like Yellow Pages 20 years ago. If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or corporate tycoon…then chances are you’ve heard of social media and are probably even using it.
For the past five years or so, countless “Social Media” sites have come and gone, most aimed at stealing a slice of the almighty Facebook/Twitter market share. Why are they failing? Simple. People go where people are. The initial simplicity and intuitiveness of Facebook and Twitter have kept a strong hold on the masses, and they keep growing.
I know what you’re thinking… “Great, I’ll just sign in to Facebook and Twitter and start advertising my products for free! EASY!”
Unfortunately, this happens all the time. That’s why so many businesses fail to see that return on investment. The problem is when the approach is all about selling your product or service. I know this will sound strange maybe even a little crazy, but no one wants you to flood their precious news feeds about your deals, prices, or products. People are becoming more and more internet savvy, and if they want to buy something from you they’ll Google you. Being successful at social media takes time (hey, kind of like your reputation).
So, what do people want? What makes a business successful at social media?
• Personality. As the title suggests, keep ME in social media. Keep your updates interesting, and make sure they reek with genuine personality, odd as it may or may not be. Look at Zappos if you want to see an impressive example of this.So go ahead, give social media a try. For some people it comes naturally, for others, well, there are plenty of tech savvy Gen Y graduates ready to help you out. And if social media doesn’t work for you, leave a comment and let me know why (that’s me engaging right there).
• Engage. If you browse through a successful social media business’s page, you rarely see them selling any product or service. What are they doing? They’re engaging with their customers by asking and answering questions. They’re responding to feedback, good and bad. On that note, don’t be afraid of bad feedback. If you can’t handle it, you shouldn’t be in business. Respond respectfully and tactfully, but don’t ignore it. Check out Oreo’s Facebook page.
• Keep things real. What I mean here is don’t be fake, people can tell. You only have so many characters to keep in touch with your followers, don’t waste it on distasteful sales pitches.
• Consistency. Updating Twitter is fun…for a while. Receiving your first ‘RT’ or ‘Like’ is like opening presents on Christmas morning. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t get any presents. If you’re updating consistently (and using the points above), people will start to interact with you. Once this happens you’ll start creating relationships and social media becomes much more fun.