Congratulations. You've taken the leap and set up business accounts on not just Facebook, but Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and other niche channels to create brand awareness, encourage engagement and stir up conversation about your products and services. But there are challenges that still stand in the way. So while this is hardly breaking news, here is a list of things NOT to do on social media—especially if you are doing it as a business.
Don't be Self-Centered
Don’t make everything you post about you or your company. You need to tailor your posts and content to your visitors. People come to Facebook and other social media networks to have fun, upload pictures and connect with family and friends. So fit your business into that experience.
Do Have a Plan
Do you have a buyer persona or a target customer/follower identified? If you don’t, get on that ASAP. If you do, that’s great! Keep that person in mind every time you post or tweet. What would he or she be interested in? What aligns with their needs and interests? You need to fit into their world instead of expecting them to fit into yours.
Remember Social Media is not Sales
Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT try to sell your products and services via social networks. Your readers didn’t log onto Facebook or Twitter to be bombarded with sales or marketing messages. Instead, focus on building relationships by providing helpful information and valuable tips. By posting great content, you keep reminding them of your brand, and when they are ready to buy, your name will be at top of their list.
Don't Forget Who You are “Talking” to
Facebook may allow you to post updates to only friends, but Twitter lets your updates be read by everyone. Facebook can also let your posts be seen by friends of friends if you don’t monitor your privacy settings. So always be aware that while you may be posting with specific personas in mind, everyone else can read your message, too.
Don't Ignore Networking Opportunities
A 2010 study conducted by Microsoft found that 70 percent of surveyed companies say they had rejected potential employees based on content they found online. And a 2011 survey by Kaplan Test Prep found 24 percent of responding colleges had gone to applicants’ social networking profiles to learn more about them, up from 10 percent in 2008. In short, you could create legitimate relationships on social media that might lead to a “foot in the door” you otherwise wouldn’t have or a new customer who wouldn't have found you otherwise. Or it could do the opposite if someone doesn't appreciate the messages you are posting.
So don’t ignore new friends and don’t ignore your online persona because people are looking for it, reading it, and judging you by it!
Got any tips? Leave them in the comments section! Hope that helps!
Jesse is a Web Developer at Kuno Creative who regularly contributes his technical expertise to Kuno's blog. He carries a Master of Science in Mass Communcations and has more than three years of experience in web development and design.