Social Media Marketing is a compelling tool for business because of the dual benefits of
- Huge traffic potential
- Free (just need to spend time)
This is drawing in more and more businesses who want to extract these benefits and learn the best practices. Unfortunately we are also seeing an influx of the less open and authentic business types who only want to extract money from your wallet, any way possible.
Social Media is not just a new bullhorn for the loud and abrasive sales types to use to make our ears bleed some more. If you go against what people want and need then don’t expect to get great results.
Join the Social Media Party
So how do you get good results for your business without becoming an obnoxious blowhard?
- Provide interesting conversation
- Monitor what people like
- Provide more of that
- Be yourself, or at least a human being
Funny, that’s almost exactly like what you would recommend if I asked you how to behave at a party, right? And this is the point. Just because you are working online, with software tools, does not mean good behavior goes out of the window.
In fact, because you are online and do not have the nonverbal cues to provide context to what you are saying and doing, it is even more important to be aware of the human element and show that you are real. You need to do this with the whole package, from your avatar and screen names, through to using smilies and obvious humor in your messages. A couple of times my humor has been a little too dry and caused me some problems. If in doubt, don’t say it!
Don’t be a Wall Flower Either
At the other end of the social media scale are the people who sit on the sidelines and do not get involved. If this is you then your results are going to suffer just as badly as the person who barges in and tries to take over. Really there is nothing to be afraid of, join in. You will find most people are kind and generous, the ones who aren’t you don’t want to get to know anyway.
One way to ease into the scene is to get someone you know and trust to introduce you to conversations. This can be done easily and openly using retweets or just engaging you in conversation. In Facebook and other networking sites it can be as simple as inviting you to groups.