Self-employed and home-based business owners continue to debate the value of social media. While there is no doubt that there are benefits to listing your business on social media, it is equally important to avoid time-wasting mistakes.
A strong trading platform ensures that every aspect of your business venture is efficient and effective. Scheduling social media is an important aspect of building your business platform. What is a platform? There is a lot of thinking and planning to design the picture – just the right stage, creating an outdoor band stage in the middle of an empty ground. How much will it weigh and how big will it be? Then there is the cost of supplies, services and skills that you may have to acquire or outsource. When you are finally able to stand at that level, you test it and find that it is solid – it does not move around you and you do not need to go back and fix mistakes. Your platform is everything that makes it. Now you can move forward to the next level of your business plan.
There are a lot of dangers that can be overlooked when it comes to using social media and we cover a lot in Purple Snowflake Marketing. For example: mistake of being buried in entertaining and educational posts and videos. Blurring the lines between personal entertainment and business activities can waste a lot of precious time.
Business owners need to see who the potential customer is. Having this information on hand will help you make decisions about visual design, color, imagery, social media outlets that you can use alongside real content. It is best to determine, from the very beginning, what your purpose is in using a particular social media outlet. For example, you can use Facebook differently than Instagram.
When signing up for an account on any social media outlet, pay attention to the profile where you can post additional imagery, color scheme or your logo. Review your profile at the very least annually. You want the information to be up-to-date, easy, attractive to customers and reflect your purpose for being there. You also want to avoid looking stale, out of date or no longer in business.
Personal social media should be viewed separately. During business hours it is important that you do not even look at your personal pages or reply to messages from them. It’s like chatting to your girlfriend on the phone all day at work – don’t do it! Employees should be trained with this in mind, and if they post for business it should be through business accounts – not through their personal accounts.
Avoid personal mixing with the business at any level, unless the subject is related to the business, its policy, mission, or employees. Professional media should not show your personal activities, personal opinions, political views, cute and silly videos, or photos of you on holiday, to your children or family. Remember that the social media aspects of a business platform are intended to attract and interact with business customers and networks.
That being said, people who are connected to you on social media are because they enjoy reading your posts and browsing helpful videos. They certainly do not want to see their time, inappropriate content, or ‘sold out’ all the time. It is very important to find a good balance for where and when you sell to the audience.
Make sure that your (and your employee’s) personal online presence is not aggressive to customers. It can (and will) affect your business if your staff is listed on your website and someone only discovers that their Facebook page reveals disturbing images.
People also want to listen – so invite them to share their opinions and suggestions on your post or reach you through a private message. Your response to their response gives them a feeling of respect, recognition and appreciation.
Another bonus about using social media is that it becomes a backlink every time your site is listed. Every time someone looks at your post and follows a backlink, your site gets ranked by search engines. Therefore, when used wisely, this tool can definitely be your friend and can go a long way to your marketing efforts.