Sometimes social media can feel like a roll of the dice. Maybe you’ve registered your business online and are crossing your fingers that customers find you. Maybe you’re hoping that you’ll get rich quick if you just sign up for Facebook, Twitter, or whatever’s the hottest social-media site of the moment. Fortunately, unlike Vegas, you’ve got very little to lose if you’ve decided to gamble on social media. But social media is also unlike Las Vegas in that whatever happens online, stays online.
With that in mind, here are four simple rules to improve your odds and your professional reputation …
Do Your Homework: If you’ve ever signed up for a social-media page – whether for personal or professional use – you already know that they offer the opportunity to share everything from the high school you attended to photos of your last vacation. So you may be wondering what you should fill out and what you shouldn’t. The short answer is as much as possible. Of course, if you’re using it for business, you’ll want to stick with your professional info. But the more information you put on your page, the more ways people have to find you. So put up a picture and fill out everything you can.
Do Participate: The mistake a lot of businesses make when first attempting a social-media strategy is thinking it works by itself. That means, they put up a company name and address and then expect to see results. Social media requires socialization. You have to share information and make connections and contacts. In other words, you have to login and participate in order to have any kind of success. Update your pages regularly and interact as much as possible with the fans and followers you have. You will see results only if you make an effort.
Don’t Give Up So Soon: The other mistakes companies make is giving up too soon. Everyone wants instant results with little work. Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works – online or not. You have to participate regularly and consistently. The more you update your pages, share info, respond to comments, and interact, the more you’ll make connections and better your chance for generating potential business. Unfortunately, this takes time and effort. That’s why you find so many abandoned social-media pages online. Nothing looks worse than a half-finished Facebook business page that hasn’t been updated in 11 months. Keep at it for best results.
Don’t Be Too Pushy: Even though you’re using social media to market your business, most of the people you’re contacting aren’t. That means, when you’re using your Facebook feed or Twitter page to constantly sell yourself, you’re bombarding someone’s personal page with advertisements. Be considerate and mix your sales pitch in with a lot of good information, freebies, and anything else that brings people back to your page. You’ll get your chance to sell but you first have to gain trust and convince people that you’re worth checking in with.