6 Rules of the Road for Social Media Strategy
The growth of social media is so fast that it's attracting everyone. You might be wondering if your company should have a social media presence and what it should it look like.
No social media presence, no problem … for your competitors, that is. Your competitors are perfectly happy that you don't have a social media presence. They are happy to dominate your space. If you are not there, this means more for them.
There are a few rules of the road in social media. First impressions can turn people off forever. So let's find out how to make a good lasting impression. And yes, in case you are wondering, you will make more sales.
- Social media is not your space; it is the people's space. You are just invited to the party—for now. So the first rule of social media is that it's not all about business. If you think of social media as a party, you can apply the rules of etiquette to your social media presence and you can't go wrong. You wouldn't show up to a party dressed in flashing lights with a "Hurry, big sale happening right now. Buy me" sign on your head, now would you? Of course not. And just like a party, you don't just crash onto the scene. You respect the venue, the mood, the other guests ... or you can get thrown out.
- Who is ruining social media? Everyone with the "e-mail spam" attitude. Everyone who holds events that are just a prelude to an upsell. Everyone in it only for themselves. They are quickly coming on the scene. The amateurs are spamming social media, and the community does not have to take it anymore. They can remove themselves from your group; they can decide they don't like you. You cannot talk atsocial media users; you can only talkwith them.
- It's about getting involved. Social media's relaxed environment gives you the platform to reveal many facets of your company over time. It's about who you are as a business. It's time to get involved with causes or concerns that make a difference in the lives of people and in the world, and do something about it. When you do something about it, you get to share your actions with your community.
- Yes, you can … sell. But the way you sell is very different from traditional marketing and advertising. The "I am only in here because I can get more customers" attitude will just hurt you. If you are a contributing member of the community and follow the unwritten rules, you can include a sales and marketing strategy in your interactions, you can create special offers, and you can include a call to action.
- It's about showing your personality. Hire people to create and expand your social media presence who understand the social media environment. Hire people who know the rules of marketing and publicity, who know how to write and communicate—but also know when, where and how to break the rules for this social media arena.
- If you engage in social media, sales will come. The more you engage others and are just one of the gang without pretense or hunting for your next sale, the more your community and those you are a part of will get to know the heart behind your company. Have you ever thought that if more people got to know you, they would do business with you? As we know, one of the fundamental premises of business success is that people will do business with those they know, like and trust. So why not you? Will they think of you as a "their space" spammer or valued and respectful member of the social media community that they have grown to know, like and trust? Who would you buy from?
Annie Jennings is the founder of Belle Mead, N.J.-based Annie Jennings PR, a strategic marketing and publicity firm specializing in publicity, social media creation and integration, social media optimization, promotion, and publicity services. Contact her at (908) 281-6201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.