Below are some tips to keep in mind when entering this space. Its not rocket science, but you'd be suprised the number of businesses that fail to heed these simple steps.
Too much and too many
When starting out its easy to bite off more than you can chew. A day's work of subscribing, joining and creating your profiles suddenly leaves you with countless accounts and password variations, as well as the overwhelming task of having to curate them all. Before you go blindly into this arena its worth devising a strategy - What are similar businesses doing in the same space? Where does your target market hang out, and how well is your product or service suited to your platform of choice. For more help on evaluating the social landscape see our recent story on some valuable tools to improve your website.
ME ME ME!
If you show up to the party and talk all about yourself, chances are you'll quickly be the one standing by yourself next to the punchbowl. Each social network is a community, and the best way to interact is to begin a conversation. As a brand it might be worth avoiding the bigger issues like politics and religion, but you should diversify your content to make sure you arent just rewarding your followers with endless sales pitches.
Twit or Twitter?
Hashtags are an easy way join or create a topic on twitter, you can also use these for promotional purposes such as asking your followers or even clients to use a specific brand related hash tag. However, excessive hash tagging will recude the efficieny of your post, it also creates room for error. Be sure to check your hashtags with an online tag checker. Not only will this prevent you from using an existing tag, but it might also help you avoid an embarrasing oversight, like singer Susan Boyle.
Spelling mistakes are the bane of the social media realm. No matter how witty the comment, how appealing the offer, or how inspiring your post is, nothing will take the shine off like a typo or spelling mistake. Moments before sending your text snippet out into the world, take a second to spell check and if in doubt, always verify online.
Paying for friends
There are websites and services out there who will let you swap your hard earned cash for "paid followers". These fake profiles and followers will join or like your page, in order to drive up your friend total. Not only is this practice disingenuous, its also pointless. Fake profiles will not engage with your posts or topics of conversation, and they will never convert to paying clients, meaning no ROI other than having a small number on your profile page increase.
The aim of this article isn't to fighten you away from entering this space. In all honesty social media is difficult to maintain, especially if you're trying to manage it all in house. By far the most important element here is to invest in a social media strategy, going in blind with no idea of your outcomes or strategy won't only fail to generate results, but you'll bow out of the social space without ever tapping into its true potential. Avoid the temptation to fake it, a genuine community takes time to foster but the positive results for your business are both numerous and ongoing.
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