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Social Media Rules Every Business Should be Aware Of

Social media is always an interesting topic when it comes to marketing. For years people have been trying to determine how the two will work together and slowly but surely a picture is forming. The bottom line is that if your marketing strategy doesn’t have a social media component then you might be looking for a new job soon.

While Google and Bing still have the corner office on traditional methods for looking for something, the younger generation is switching to a more social method to finding what they need.

Last year over 40 percent of all internet users age 18 to 32 used social networks as their go-to internet-discovery resource. That trend is big enough that Microsoft is making a play for it with its Windows 8 commercials and integrated operating system. So how are you prioritizing your strategy to take advantage of this trend?

For the most part, most people aren’t. SEO and paid search efforts are still the top priority for most companies over social media. But numbers don’t lie and if people are going to be looking for you (or a company that does what you do) on social media then you need to be active on social media.

With that in mind we have a list of rules about social media that every business should be aware of.

Top 5 Rules for Social Media

  1. Open and Engaging – This is the top rule because this is “social” media. You need to be available. You need to respond and react in a positive way with people along with treating them as equals. If they share something funny with you, pass it on. Never be above your users or act like you are because that fosters more animosity than adoration. Dedicate time to be regularly active and it will pay off.
  2. Quality Content – Yup, even on social media quality is king. First, you need to generate something new and original to be thought of in that sense…as an original and a voice of knowledge or a leader. Secondly, if you are going to share something make sure it has value and interest to people (note, funny items always have value). A successful blend will have you providing thoughts and opinions along with sharing at an equal rate so people have two reasons to follow you socially. But, quantity is not the same as quality. Posting every hour just to post wastes space and turns people off. Ideally if someone joins your feed they should be excited when something new pops up because more than likely it will be interesting.
  3. Focus – Jack of all trades and master of none is not what you want to be. As cool as it is to be a generalist, a specialist ends up having more credibility and it is also easier for them to stand out. The internet is a noisy place and if you want to separate from the crowd it helps to own a specific niche. As you become known as “the voice” of a niche, more people will funnel towards you.
  4. Use Business to build Social Media – Obviously in the context of this article we are talking about using social media to market your business. But, you also need to be mindful of using your business to spread your social reach. Use social media to promote your business activities and then during those activities remind people about following you socially. A simply idea might be an online coupon deal; when you Like Us on Facebook we will send you a coupon for 15% off your next purchase and enroll you on our “special deals” newsletter for Facebook Friends. Then you offer another deal to Facebook Friends for who share 5 posts in a month. This is just one example of using one to expand the other.
  5. Embrace the Network – Every social network is different. There are specific styles and nuances used across the various platforms and these should be understood so you don’t annoy people in one social setting with behavior that is acceptable on another. For example, posting every few hours on Facebook is a bad idea because people don’t want to be bombarded. Twitter, on the other hand, usually requires more interaction and re-tweeting. Know the culture of the network you are on to maximize your effectiveness to the users.

The Bottom Line

Social media is growing as a way to not only reach people but also be found by people searching for products and services. It is important to have a presence and be active in a positive way to make the most of that market. While it might be nice to be active on every social feed, it is enough to be active on two because of the time it takes. Just make sure you follow these 5 social media rules to ensure success with your efforts!

 

 

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