SocialMediaDosandDonts

12 Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing

If you’ve been using social media for some time, you may have seen some posts made by your friends, which made you cringe. Yes I am talking about people sharing intimate details or airing their dirty laundry. What many don’t realise is that if their privacy settings are not set up properly, it’s not only their friends, who are seeing their messages, but also friends of friends and possibly the whole world.

In many respects, social media has replaced newspapers and magazines and people believe “if it’s in print, it must be true”. Things get taken out of context, misunderstandings happen, friendships get broken and businesses suffer, all because of a single post. So give your updates some thought, because you never know who is reading your messages, especially if you use social media for business.

Dos

1. People come to Facebook and other social media networks to connect with their family and friends so fit your business into that experience. Be helpful and courteous instead of trying to sell your products and services at every opportunity. Your visitors didn’t log onto Facebook or Twitter to be bombarded with marketing messages. Focus on building relationships. By posting great content, you build credibility, which will in time lead to more sales.

2. Do create a plan instead of posting random messages and don’t be afraid to try out new things. Encourage interaction by asking questions, post funny pictures, inspirational quotes, link to videos and see what your audience responds to the most.

3. Keep up with current events and sprinkle those into your newsfeed. People react quickly to what is going on around them and especially if they have a strong opinion on it.

4. Encourage two way communication. When people respond to your posts, use their name, pay them compliments and engage in fun discussions. Remember social media is not a one way street, where you bombard your audience with messages about your business and then ignore their comments or concerns. Search engines such as Google watch the interaction on your social media networks and may award you with higher ranking if there is good interaction on your social pages.

5. The profile picture on Facebook and Google+ should be your logo, so that whenever you post anything, your logo shows up next to that message. The large cover photo should be used for branding. You can post several key points about your business, products and services.

6. If you want people to follow you, become interested in them first. Like their Facebook business page, connect with them on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter. And go one step further, comment on their posts or retweet their messages, where appropriate.

Don’ts

1. Don’t accept friendship requests from business acquaintances. Suggest they join your business page instead.

2. Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Make your posts about what your visitors are interested in. That way you are likely to increase interaction, which can lead to more followers.

3. Do not give your social media passwords to anyone – not even your close business associates. You can add your staff as administrators of your page(s) and set up their accounts to have access to specific areas of your social media networks.

4. Don’t allow just anyone to post on your wall or you may find spammers and competitors plugging their products and services. You can do this by adjusting your Page Posting settings.

5. Don’t ignore negative comments. Address people’s concerns, criticism and feedback. This can go a long way to show others you offer excellent customer service. Naturally you can delete comments which are vulgar, racist or inappropriate.

6. Don’t forget to investigate what information any third party services, apps and widgets will have access to and be selective with what you install. Remember many services will automatically tag your status updates with GPS information, so if you don’t want everyone to know where you are, make sure that feature is turned off in your settings.

The more you interact with your audience, the more of your posts will show in your followers’ newsfeeds and reach other potential customers. Search engines also watch the activity on your social networks and the more interaction there is, the better chances you have of ranking higher in organic searches.

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