This is a guest post by Melissa Pepers of Lure Graphics
Entrepreneurs by definition dive into the unknown in order to be able to transform their lives. One of the biggest unknowns for many start-ups is social media. All business owners recognise the increasing necessity and wealth of opportunities that come from harnessing this behemoth but with the many different voices on the topic even finding square one can be overwhelming.
In my experience it is genuinely difficult to find information that actually explains how to benefit from social media. After many hours of reading, asking, talking and just giving it a shot I now have the chance to share with you what I learned so that you can begin to master your own social media in a way that will bring measurable impact to your business.
• DO NOT forget it’s social media. Each follower’s post that you don’t respond to is the equivalent to hanging up on your customer. Social media gives you the fantastic opportunity to create a relationship before and continue a relationship after actual transactions. Even the public way that you are forced to handle negative feedback is an opportunity for you to show your compassionate customer service skills allowing your followers to see the humanity behind the logo.
• DO NOT sound like the classifieds. No one purchases a newspaper just to read the advertisements and when customers are ‘paying’ you with their time on social media they don’t want to be sold to. If you were your own customer, think of ways that you can share useful, interesting information that is related to your product/service. If you are a restaurant you could share recipes or reveal interesting health benefits of your produce. If you are a retailer you could provide behind the scenes peeks about those parts of the business that you are proud of that your customers would otherwise never know. You could even give small biographies of your staff and all their fabulous skills that made you hire them to begin with.
• DO NOT water down your business. With so many types of social media it is hard to know where your business will flourish. If you have read this article up until now, chances are you relate to this sentiment so we’re going to make it easy for you: start with just Facebook. The quantity of people on Facebook and the amount of different tools available to businesses means you can count on a strong start here. The many start ups that have found success online without even having a website demonstrates that everything you need is probably here.
Important note: before you set up a business page, set up a personal account. For some silly reason, if you only start with a business page Facebook only allows you a few features whereas if you set up a page after creating your personal account you get the full technical functionality necessary to thrive. If you do set yourself up with a few friends on your personal account, these can often be your first likers as well!
• DO NOT pay for likes. Many companies will offer you these services but you don’t want them I promise. None of these paid likes are interested in your service and none of them will bring you business. They will only change a number and the location of your public statistic on where most likers are from to India, revealing to your customers exactly what you paid for.
• DO make a list of other pages of interest your customers are likely to have. Things like markets, festivals and DIY ideas pages for your industry are all great starting points. Then, head on over to these pages, give them a like with your business page and start to join in on the conversations. Make sure that if you write something it is not just for the sake of it and is relevant and insightful, also make sure you never write these things on competitors pages – it just looks bad. The beauty of this is that if a person is interested in what you had to say they may click on the link to your page and give you a like, anyone that finds you in this way is likely to have the right mix to be a potential customer. Start with joining in 10 conversations like this a week. The more relevant conversations you join, the more people you are exposing your business to.
• DO run a promotion or two at the beginning to help get the word out. Make it something pretty good that is also a sample of your product/service and where possible one that costs you more labour then it does money (always important for start ups to save those dollars!). (But make sure you check the regulations around giveaways where you live – even though you are doing a giveaway you may still need to register and pay a fee to do it.)
Ask your customers to like your page, share the competition and tag a friend to be in with a chance to win. The more friends they mention, the more chances they can get. This will get you many more leads and potential customers as well as likes then any Facebook paid campaign will get you.
• DO make sure to post regularly. If you aren’t sure what you are doing start with just make 3 statuses a week. If customers see you aren’t posting they may not be sure if your business is even running, you wouldn’t turn the lights off and put the closed sign on your door in the middle of service and this is the online equivalent. Also, spending that time on Facebook learning more and practicing what you already know will make each day a little easier and more productive.
• DO pop in a relevant quote now and again. If I am time poor or can’t think of anything to write – we are only human after all – quotes are an inspiring and motivational way for you toconnect with your followers.
• DO tell people what is happening with your business. What is on special today? What market are you selling at this weekend (you can even cross promote with affiliate Facebook pages)? What new shop stocks your product? What new product is on offer? Where can they find you? All this information is useful to customers and helps bridge the gap between the desire for a product like yours and actually getting their hands on it.
If this helped you, could be better or you have absolutely any questions about what I have written here, say hello and I will help answer them for free at: