You’ve heard about the explosion of social networking sites. Over 400 million people worldwide use one or more. A social networking site is a place of social interaction. On Facebook, members become friends, share information, invite each other to events, and engage in other social activities. On Twitter, people share brief messages or updates with one another. Individuals, organizations, and businesses take part. Have you ever wondered if you should get involved, and if so, how?
You may be hesitant to try something new; however with the enormous traffic that these sites receive, it’s time to make your presence known! Not only is social networking a strategy to increase revenues and/or deepen customer relationships, it is also a fabulous Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technique for linking to your website.
Here is a simple 5-step process, adapted from the article, “5 Steps to Get your Business Ready for Social Media” to help you along your way.
1. Begin with the End in Mind
Before you take another step, think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase your revenue, identify prospective clients, or improve your public persona? Deciding your intentions will give you direction.
2. Determine What Value You Bring
The concept of your value added is just that, what value are you bringing to the table? Why should prospective customers interact with you?
For example, I am Facebook friends with several businesses that offer customers special pricing, heads-up on upcoming sales, or accessible and relevant information. Definitely value added here.
So what will you offer your Facebook friends?
3. Your Online Identity
Before you engage in social media, you need to decide who you will be. Will you be the CEO of your company, your brand or company itself, or somebody else? Decide from what perspective you will write. Then, develop guidelines about what information you will be sharing online. How personable will you be and how will you relate to customers? Again, have the end in mind. The impression you want to give your prospective clients and your online identify should be closely related.
4. Make Your Presence Known
Choose your social medium and build your profile. Make certain to provide basic information such as your address, hours, directions, and so on so that potential customers will know the basics about your company. Include information like services provided, menu, worthy news stories, and product line. And don’t forget coupons or special pricing!
5. Be Social
With everything in place, adopt your persona and interact with customers. Keeping your persona in mind, be informative and friendly, but not pushy. It is critical to sustain your effort, as it will take awhile for relationships to develop. And it is particularly important to keep your social media interactions active, so that it is obvious that somebody is present.
Sounds like a daunting task, but it’s not so bad. Set a goal and move through each step and before you know it, you’ll be online! If you need ideas, research other businesses like yours on Facebook or Twitter to see how they do it. Just do it; you’ll be glad you did.