For cash strapped small businesses social media can be a cheap and effective way to promote your business/brand and increase revenue. At the same time many SMBs don’t properly utilize social media or ignore it altogether. No matter where you fall on this spectrum keep the following dos and don’ts in mind.
- Do set up social accounts on all the relevant social platforms for your business. If you sell hard to find car parts only known only to gearheads, Pinterest is not for you.
- Do use a high quality logo image that is not blurry, stretched nor distorted. Your brand is your livelihood so make it professional regardless of where it appears.
- Do fill out the account details as fully as possible – which means including a name, address and phone number and link where appropriate. These will help build credibility and indirectly in your SEO efforts.
- Do be active on your social profiles. See Don’t #1.
- Do offer promos. If you’re a bricks and mortar location, use these promo efforts to drive foot traffic to your actual store. See Do #13.
- Do use social media tools where possible. See Don’t #4.
- Do have your CEO active on social media, but only if that person is going to be consistent and engaging.
- Do have a specific strategy in place for each platform.
- Do sign up for accounts to reserve your name even if you don’t intend to use them until farther down the road.
- Do look for ways to help others. The law of reciprocity will return the favor someday.
- Do what fits the brand and the brand’s audience not what an outrageous celebrity or self-serving politician might be doing.
- Do explore. But remember that exploring on social media is inherently public. If you need to learn to drive, use individual or less visible accounts to practice until you’re ready to drive for real.
- Do track your ROI. You’re not participating just to participate. Use Analytics and other social media tracking tools to measure against your established KPIs. See Do #8
- Don’t create a social account on every social platform you find just for the sake of doing so.
- Don’t let negative reviews and comments spiral into personal public battles. Rather, view them as opportunities to win new customers and exhibit outstanding customer service.
- Don’t only post promotional and “salesy” updates.
- Don’t ever let your social activity be fully automated or even close to fully automated. Social is called social for a reason.
- Don’t only be active in spurts. Nothing at all is better than once every blue moon.
- Don’t be boring and corporate.
- Don’t fear social media.
- Don’t spend so much time on social media that you ignore real people and real events. See Do #5.
- Don’t bother to buy fake followers, likes, or fans. Real people drive results not bots.
- Don’t try to hit daily quotas. There is no magic number. Be social.
About The Guest Author: Dustin Heap is a digital marketer at Signs.com. Signs.com is an online sign company that can design and produce your sign regardless of whether it’s a wall or window decal, yard sign or exterior business banner.
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