Youre a business owner, and youve started using Facebook, Twitter and other social media. You are using social media, arent you? As of June 1, 2012, more than 950 million people worldwide were on Facebook, and Twitter had 500 million active users, about 140 million of them in the United States.
But before you make your next post or Tweet, consider that many of those folks are simply broadcasting advertising and marketing messages. Think about it. Do you like being bombarded by these messages 24/7?
A better approach, as our friends at Likeable Media point out, is to put yourself in your customers place. The secret is to share interesting stories with your following, be interested in others, and be authentic and honest.
Here are five suggestions from Likeable that will lead to social media success.
1. Listen, listen, listen. Find out what people on Twitter are talking about regarding your business and your competitors. Look for conversations using words your prospective customers use.
2. Tell people who and how they should like and follow you. Give people a reason to connect with youwhats in it for them? And make it easy to do. Theres a big difference in saying, Like my page on Facebook and Get answers to all your social media questions at Facebook.com/MyBusiness.
3. Start a conversation by asking a question. Social networking is all about engaging in interesting discussions. Instead of saying, We can answer all your marketing questions, say, Whats your biggest marketing challenge?
4. Share photos and videos. Pictures and videos get the greatest response on Facebook and tell stories in ways that words alone cannot. Use your smartphone to take photos and short videos of your customers and staff.
5. Invest the time. If you only spend a minute or two once or twice a week on social media, youre not likely to get the returns you want. Likeable recommends spending at least 30 minutes a day learning, listening and respondingtruly engaging in conversations. The more time you put in, the more you will benefit.