Whether a business is large or small, interracting with consumers through social media outlets is one of the most relevant ways to take advantage of free advertising, connect with potential and current customers, and receive feedback on products and services. When done properly and in moderation, this can yield successful results like sales, leads, and networking opportunities.
I don’t claim to be a social media maven. I’m just a person who uses social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to stay informed with the people and places I love. However, I do think my ideas on how social media can make or break your online presence are generally felt by the masses.
What are a few ways to kill your business by using social media? See if anything you are doing is unintentionally making the “B List”.
“The B List”
This is a term I use to refer to people who choose not to separate their business from themselves. For instance, if you have a Facebook account for your personal use, you definitely need a separate one for business purposes. There are only a few personal friends that I’m interested in knowing about their other online endeavors, whether they are businesses or blogs. However, these exceptions don’t bombard me several times a day selling their products or pointing me to links. It’s done rarely and in moderation and I genuinely care about what they have to say because I already have a connection (friendship) with them. Otherwise, they would be deleted from my friend’s list.
Even if you did have the foresight to create a separate account on Facebook or Twitter for your business or blog, bombarding the people who “Like” your business several times a day is a no-no. Do you have a new blog post or giveaway up? Great, point me there. Taking special orders for something? Fabulous! Let me know. New products or information available? Tell me all about it! But only tell me once. When I read through the same message three or four times a day it only annoys me. Less is more.
Baiting is bombarding mixed with desperate pleas to be “Liked” or “Followed”. The most common scenario I see of this is, “If I can get X amount of fans by a certain date, I’ll give away ______”. “We only need ____ more fans and I’ll be giving away the ________!!!”. “We’re almost there, just need a few more fans!!!” Tell all of your friends to “Like” us!!”. Repeat, repeat,repeat…several times during the course of a day. If you have something you want to give away, just do it. Don’t make people refer friends and wait around until you can scrounge up enough people to make you suddenly feel important. I promise the ones who “Liked” you in the first place are your loyal customers and fan base and will prove that loyalty by buying from you as well as mentioning your name or business to their friends and family without being forced to. Unless you drive them away first.
Nobody is perfect and typos are just a fact of online life, but anything on your business page should reflect professionalism. If grammar and spelling are not your strong points, please ask someone for help. Posts littered with misspellings, especially terms that are vital to your industry, only make me think you have no idea what you are talking about, and I question your credibility. When these mistakes are made on a daily basis, I no longer take you seriously.
Be Back Soon
Nothing is more frustrating than following a business you love, only to discover they don’t even care enough to interact with their customers. Their page is nothing more than a link to their site (if that) and a blank slate with so much potential. As a customer, I want to know when you’re having a sale or special promotions, in moderation of course. Perhaps I have a question about whether or not you have an item in stock or offer a service. Is anybody listening to me? As a business, you’re losing valuable free advertising and opportunities to connect with customers and you appear to be making a half-hearted attempt. Why even bother if you’re not going to use this space to your advantage?
What businesses are getting it right with me? A local restaurant I eat at frequently that posts their lunch menu around 10:00 AM daily so customers know what to expect. Several blogging friends who post relevant information in extreme moderation on their personal pages and with whom I have a real connection with. A big chain store that updates me once a week with a link to their sale flyer and offers special discounts or coupons to their social media fans. The local funeral home when services are being held for individuals (yes, this is odd, but when you live in a small town, even information like this is appreciated). All of these businesses are doing it right because they know how to interract with the public by avoiding the “B List” and have enough confidence that the ones who follow them will pay attention the first time.