Many of my clients are fearful when it comes to using Social Media. Most of the fears are focused around security, safety, privacy, and productivity. Here are my thoughts when it comes to using Social Media to market your business.
Social Media: Security and Safety
Common sense comes into play here. My rule of thumb; if it is something that I would not want my mother to read it does not get posted to any online platform. I never post that I am leaving town, that I left the doors unlocked, or anything about my specific location through out the day. I personally do not use location based platforms like FourSquare. This is only because I work from home. IF I had a store front type business I would be using all the location based platforms to encourage customers to check in.
Social Media Privacy
Some social media platforms require a personal account to get a business account. An example is Facebook. They do NOT require you use the personal account. If you have a privacy issue then just use your business accounts and leave the personal empty. However I must ask; how is your business doing? People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. If you totally hide your personal interests then how are people going to get to know, like, and trust you?
I have seen business owners try this approach and it has failed every time. I have built many business relationships stemming from my personal interests first. I really doubt these people would have ever connected with me if they did not get to know me first.
Social Media Productivity
The way to be productive using social media is to have a plan first. Stick to the plan. Ask yourself – is this activity congruent with my plan? If not then stop and move on.
There are many tools available to manage social media – some are free and others have a monthly cost. I use HootSuite and the social sharing icons on my website. HootSuite allows me to schedule social media posts so they will post without me actually doing it at the time. However these types of posts get less social activity in Facebook than direct posting. This is why I use the social share buttons on my website. Every time I create content I allow for an extra few minutes to share it through the major networks.
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
Part of getting over the fear of using social media is understanding the benefits to your business.
Brand awareness is huge
Allowing people to see you as a person
Communication (some people only contact me through Facebook)
Links to your Website
Search Engine Optimization
Getting new clients
This is a short list, but my business has seen all these benefits, so I know yours can too.