November 14, 2012

Nine Rules for Social Media Success

There are a lot of social media do’s and don’ts out there from various sources. But, to boil them all down, here are my top eight rules for social media success for your business:
  1. Don’t post just to post. Make sure what you’re sharing has some value to your fans. And, yes, it’s OK to ask them what they want to see from you on social media.
  2. Invite them, speak to them rather than sell to them. Marketing through social media is more about engagement and conversation than it is about a hard sell.
  3. Use your analytics. Facebook offers built-in analytics that allows you to see who your fans are and, more importantly, who your active fans are. There are a number of tools available to track your analytics across social media sites.
  4. Post often enough to intrigue and engage your customers — but not annoy them. Be respectful of their time and energy. Remember, yours isn’t the only business they’re following on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t clog up their dashboards and feeds with too much information with little value.
  5. Interact with your fans. Just putting information out isn’t enough. You have to be part of the conversation to be successful with social media.
  6. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Try different types of posts, different times of days, different days of the week. Posts photos, videos, surveys — the sky’s the limit!
  7. Be human. Show your customers that you’re a person and not just another store wanting their business. Remember: Social media is about being a little more personal than traditional marketing avenues. And it’s OK to be conversational.
  8. Keep it short and sweet. Use conversational language and say it simply in all social media conversations. Fans, followers and friends aren’t looking for 500-word essays from you. They’re looking for easy-to-use and access information.
  9. Have fun. Social media is a fun, interactive tool to have in your belt. It allows you to step outside of the standard marketing box and engage your customers in ways businesses haven’t been able to in the past. Customers — and potential customers — get to see the person behind the store. And it can certainly pay off.