Social Media Should Be Social

Social media is still a subject that causes a bit of head scratching in the business world. The view by many is that it is less effective than traditional advertising. Conventional thinking tells us that people use social media to connect, not to buy. While that may be true, using social media for business may be the missing ingredient to expanding your customer base and boosting profits.

People Want To Engage

Businesses have a unique opportunity to engage with new and existing customers. They can take the time to monitor brand mentions, answer questions, offer discounts and contests, and to put a personal touch on their brand.

While many businesses look to promote products and services, they miss an amazing opportunity that social media provides. People trust those they know and connect with on a regular basis. By connecting with real people, they can build trust, brand recognition, loyalty, and by extension, they can improve their odds of gaining word of mouth referrals.

How To Use Social Media For Business

The first step is to make a social media strategy about people, not the business. This is especially true on Facebook, where people “Like” and share whatever is interesting at the moment.

Some Facebook for business tips would include:

  • Polls
  • Contests
  • Giveaways
  • Engaging images

Anything that has the potential to go viral should be included in a social media strategy. “It’s just business” is a common phrase used when a deal benefits one side far more than the other. That mentality must be ignored on social media.

Appealing to emotions, both positive and negative, is a surefire way to spread your message and attract new people.

Ignore Standard Corporate Thinking

Most businesses encounter a new lead and start thinking about converting them into a customer right away. This is natural. However, successfully using social media for business is about developing engagement and building a relationship instead of appealing to a person’s wallet.

Action Steps You Can Take Now

First, get rid of the normal corporate and sales oriented thinking. You are there to build relationships and to inject a little personality into your brand. Have fun, and keep things light. Help people whenever you can. This may be the most powerful of all the Facebook for business tips. It works on Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus, too.

Second, find out where your ideal customers spend their time. Have a presence on all of the social networks, but put your main focus into the sites where the people who will eventually buy from you hang out. After all, the final goal is to grow your business.

Finally, take five to ten minutes to write down the emotions your ideal customer is likely to have when deciding whether to buy your product or service. If people are upset, the next step is to find a way to connect your brand with happiness in an otherwise dreary market. If they are confused, think of ways you can help to clarify their thoughts and understanding of an issue.

If you connect with people on social media, you will not only reach new customers, you will gain a better understanding of what they may want in the future.

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