A Social Media Guide For Your Business

It seems every business these days is trying to figure out what social media is and how to leverage it effectively. One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that focusing on listening to and engaging customers, as well as using social media platforms to increase service opportunities, is the best way to get started.

Social Media 101

Social media allows for the creation and sharing of user-generated content and community building. It can be a great tool for businesses looking to connect with customers online, or gain a competitive edge on the competition. Although social media takes a number of forms, there are a few big names you should be familiar with:

Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow users to share information (both personal and business-related) about themselves with online friends.

Community Sites: Yelp! and Local.com let users create and share reviews of businesses and services online.

Blogs: Many businesses create and share content on the web using WordPress or other blogging software, engaging potential customers and community members with the brand on a more personal level.

Listen Up!

Perhaps the most important strategy is to use social media not only to promote your organization or brand, but to listen to what people are saying. Social media is a great opportunity to find out what people are saying about your company and address these issues. If it’s a compliment, thank the person who gave it to you. If it’s a criticism, apologize and offer to fix whatever went wrong.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp! and Local.com are all great tools for managing interactions with your brand online.

Get In On The Conversation

Similarly, your goal in using social media should be to create a community, and that’s best done by using it to have meaningful conversations. You can find out so many useful things – why do people use your product over other similar products? What does your company do well? What could it do better? What could your company do in addition to what it already does? And, if these questions aren’t being asked, lead your customers into asking them. Essentially, social media is a great way to manage your firm’s public relations conversations.

Six Tips To Remember About Social Media

  1. Don’t Just Talk – Listen First
  2. Don’t Defend The System – Solve The Problem
  3. Don’t Tell How It Is – Ask How It Is
  4. Don’t Solicit – Service
  5. Don’t Preach – Converse
  6. Keep Up With The Crowd

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