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Social media has developed into an excellent online marketing tool for businesses and companies wishing to gain more visitors to their websites whilst building up their brand awareness.
It is a great way to focus on a specific target audience but there are certain rules you should adhere to when using social media if you want it to benefit your business.
Regularity: It’s important to be consistent with every aspect of your involvement in social media. All of your online profiles in the social networking world should be constant, using the same user name and if possible use the same profile picture or logo and always maintain the same contact information. Blogging updates and status changes should reflect each other and always link back to your website.
Take Notice: When you’re involved in the social networking sphere there are so many conversations going on at one time which makes it hard to know who to listen to. Making sure you look out for people who might be asking questions relative to your business that you can respond to is important. Many people using social media will take the opportunity to give negative reviews as well, if you happen to see something negative about your business it’s a good idea to try and respond positively to ensure others see that you have taken notice of the complaint.
Transparency: If you show the human side of your brand through online media it will give your business a more personal feel that people will relate to. You can do this by putting real faces and stories behind the messages you’re trying to get across, as well as using case studies and testimonials.
Promote Others: If you have the platform and audience, you can share good content via Google Reader, Digg or Stumble Upon. There are also some points below that you should take heed of when using social media, this is what not to do;
Don’t Ignore: Negative criticism or customer complaints should not be ignored. You should ensure that you provide a response to unsatisfied customers. Negative word of mouth spreads much faster than anything else, especially through social media.
No Spam: Do not start spamming on social media sites as people will then recognise your brand as “spammers” and the trust will be lost between you and your potential customers.
Do not Lie: Don’t create fake profiles or images as again people will lose trust in you and people will lose respect for your business.
Social media services offer, above all, a great opportunity for you to really engage with your online community. This may include friends, clients, colleagues or even just interested parties; but the wider your reach and the more proactive you are in communicating, the greater your chances of social media success.