Deborah says, "Many of us are aware of the concepts mentioned by our guest author, James Smith, below. However, sometimes, we forget how easy it can be. Mr. Smith's article reminds me of a recent Social Web Cafe Interview with Martha Giffen. So, read this guest article and then take a listen to what Ms. Giffen has to say and be encouraged about your social media efforts."
Now, on to the article...
If you run a small to medium business, the chances are that you have probably heard about how social media can really help to boost your brand and promote your company. But it is not just as simple as embedding a direct link to your business website onto your Facebook page. Sure, this may attract a few social media contacts that have time on their hands, but you really have to apply some science and logic behind the methods you use. The good news is that it isn’t that difficult to follow a successful formula and this article will point you in the right direction.
Start Slowly But Surely
For arguments’ sake, let us assume that you have a thriving social network presence and you have already placed a link to your business concerns on your main page. So how do you promote this interest without appearing pushy and arrogant? You don’t need to take a course in business or personal relations, just act like your normal, likeable, self! You have got lots of friends and acquaintances for good reason, so don’t take on a new persona at this point – be yourself! Offer a few titbits of advice but don’t ram it down their throats.
Facebook Fan Page
A great way to get your message across, to those who may be interested, is to create a Facebook fan page from your own social media base. You can invite selected friends and associates to come and ‘like’ the page and see what response you get. Warn them that they will be receiving updates hereafter and they are welcome to opt out with a simple ‘unlike’. You can also ask them to share your fan page with their friends, as long as they are interested in your brand.
Start a Friendly Discussion
Once you have attracted a healthy number of visitors/fans you can use your status update facility to spark a healthy debate. Don’t be too verbose or controversial but think of something that connects your brand to a current affairs topic. You may be surprised to hear some of the opinions and can soon gauge people’s real thoughts on many topics.
In order to create a friendly environment, you should avoid the urge to shoot anyone down, no matter how off the mark they may seem. Nobody likes a bully and you can easily lose all of your public with a couple of bullish comments. Offer to educate the more frustrated visitors and remember to listen to every comment that is written on your fan page.
Build a Community
Once you attain your public’s trust, by proving your knowledge in a non-pushy way, you will soon see more and more visitors stopping by. This is because people love to be part of a kind and caring community. Nobody enjoys being told how great they are, but they will appreciate some considerate advice and a friendly ear to bend from time to time. As long as you have faith in your brand, your community will soon take an active interest. Think of it as the opposite of those shows where someone famous has their private life exposed on television. You are making contacts through your personality and with these bonds you can promote your business.
Just remember to be totally honest and focus on supporting your new found friends, you will get your chance for brand promotion soon enough!
This post was generously provided by James Smith.