When it comes to businesses having a presence in social media, there is a fine line between too much and not enough. Networks such as Facebook and Twitter are great platforms for reaching a large audience, especially with the ability to zero in on a certain crowd that takes an interest in your product. With the correct amount of engagement done in the proper way, a company can build a loyal following for its brand that will hopefully result in new customers and more sales. Unfortunately, with the huge shift to internet marketing, many businesses have outdone themselves when it comes to trying to create a large social media presence, and have actually hurt themselves rather than helped. Following 5 guidelines, as described by Nellie Akalp in her article, can be a good start for any brand to get its name out there without causing damage.
1. Social Media is not for Selling Product
However instinctual it may be, a company’s Facebook page is not the place to be advertising a product and pushing a customer to buy it. Users are not on social sites to purchase items. They would go to purchasing websites for that. Users are looking to be informed and to see compelling and interesting content that will entertain them. “Social media is all about building relationships and growing trust”, says Nellie Akalp. News from around the industry or interesting stories that have something to do with the product can be good things to post on. Creating a discussion that will cause interaction with the customers is a good way to build a following. According to Akelp, self-promotion should only be about 5%-10% of any company page.
2. Social Media is Not About Self Promotion
Similar to the previous rule, a company’s social site should not be all about self-promotion. Posting only on products and advertisements does nothing to create discussion and will only discourage customers from engaging. Once again, interesting content that will grab a user’s attention will build trust and a loyal following. Nobody wants to hear someone talk about themselves the whole time.
3. Pick and Choose Wisely
With so many social sites it’s very easy for a business to quickly register on all of them, considering most are free, and spread itself thin when it comes to updating them all. Especially for smaller businesses, its better to pick a couple main ones that you will be able to update regularly, rather than a bunch that you will never update. Especially with such an emphasis nowadays on a company’s internet marketing, staying up to date is very important for keeping a following. It will reflect poorly if there is no engagement on the site.
4. Go at Your Own Pace
Companies that have huge budgets for marketing have many resources and time to continuously update and engage in new social site trends. This may pressure a smaller company to want to try to keep up and do the same. It is important that smaller businesses do not play this game as it will only fail when resources are not at the same level. Choose certain sites and do very well in those areas to create loyalty, and then decide whether to move into other sites. It is better to be really good at a couple than not so good at a lot.
5. Consider Resources
Social media is not free. Despite free sign ups and add-ons, it takes employees and time to produce positive results in the social world. Interesting content takes time to create, and planning is necessary when building a base of loyal customers. This is something businesses should keep in mind when assigning tasks and deciding how they will go about social networking.
Despite how daunting a social media campaign may be, the proper amount of work and correct procedures can produce very successful results with a larger brand following and loyalty that will result in more sales.