Basics of Social Media Marketing

1. Update - Try to update daily. When visitors come to a page that has not been updated in over a month, they may assume it is inactive and decide not to follow your business. They also may go to a competitor whose page page is so active they feel that business may give them better service. You certainly do not what that to happen, so update your social media pages daily.

2. No pitching - You do not need to yell at consumers telling them to purchase your product or use your business. Social media is meant to connect, not pitch. If your consumers feel they have a connection with your company through your Facebook page or Twitter feed, they are more likely to use you over another business that does not make an earnest effort to connect.

3. Communicate with your audience - If you do not feel it is necessary to reply to comments, answer questions, or join in on conversations on your page, then social media may not be for you. You need to be a part of the conversations on your page. If not you may lose touch with your customers and what they want.

4. Choose Wisely - What you say will forevermore remain public on the internet. Choose what you post on your page sensibly. If you hire a company to post for you, be sure to hire someone you can trust.

5. Handle angry customers with class - Some customers will just have a bad day and want to take it out on your page and blame you for everything. Do not remove any negative comments unless, of course, they are inappropriate. If it is only one comment, just ignore it. If you are in a quandary, post an update saying your business is making moves to fix the problem. Never directly respond to one individual, you will not win. Finally, do not make promises you cannot keep.

6. Link to others - If you find something relevant and interesting on the web, link it on your Facebook or Twitter page, then explain why you find it interesting. Ask for input. Link to other companies, articles, websites, etc. Just be sure it is relevant to your business.

7. Share - Don't be afraid to show your customers what your employees are doing when they are not in the office. Take photos of your office picnic, event, or a run/walk for a good cause. These photos create a positive image about your company for your customers.

8. Start a weekly trend - If you do something once a week, on the same day each week, your followers are bound to come back that day every week. For example, if you own a shoe store, every Monday you could post the shoe of the week. Include an image and a promotion for the shoe, such as a percentage off that week only. If you posted every Monday, consumers are bound to check every Monday to see what pair you are promoting that week. It's a great way to get customers onto your social media pages as well as into your store.

9. Link to your blog - Don't be afraid to link back to your blog. You put a lot of hard work and effort into it and you want people to read it.

10. Spread the word - If you have a Facebook, Twitter, blog, YouTube channel, etc. you need to tell people. Put them on your company website, on your business cards; put a sign up in your store saying, "Add us!" Do not be afraid to tell your customers you are on Facebook. If they like you and your product, they will share it on their Facebook account.

Social media marketing is all about using the internet to engage customers, rather than market to them. Using social media allows you to develop ongoing relationships with current customers and gain new customers based on your reputation.

Excerpts taken from SiteProNews article by Allison Kahn