Businesses everywhere are jumping on the social media bandwagon and hoping to develop an online presence with popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. As a CEO, I myself have utilized social media and seen the pleasing results that it can bring—but only when it’s used in the correct way. To effectively boost the bottom line of your business, there are many things that you should and should not do with your business’s social media campaigns.
1. Think of your business as a person. Your business should not be represented as just another business trying to fit in the social media scene; it should be represented as a person that people like to follow and communicate with. Interact with others and let them see the likeable characteristics of your business. Communicating and interacting with your audience in a way that makes them feel more like a friend of your business rather than a consumer will definitely get people to like your business, boost your online presence, and have them interested in what you have to say.
2. Dump the formal and go informal. No one wants to read updates about a new executive or how much your business makes annually. Audiences like to read about what’s going on, what’s fresh and new, and who’s involved with what. Discuss how great it is to have so many interesting customers, tell people about events going on around your business, and talk about casual and everyday topics with your audience. Your business will appear less intimidating, and more approachable.
3. It’s not all about your business. The biggest mistake that many businesses make is using their social media account to solely update audiences with what’s going on within the confinements of the company. Social media networks are meant for interacting with others, and if you’re solely updating your friends or followers with what’s going on with your business (and only your business), people will begin to start ignoring what you have to say. Share or re-post updates that others have said that relates to your company. Answer a question that someone asked on their Facebook. Participate in “Follow Friday” on Twitter and share with your audience other businesses or people on the network that they may be interested in following as well. Every shout-out to another person on a social media network never goes unnoticed.
4. Make your audience feel special to be your friend or follower. Don’t be afraid to give tokens of appreciation to your audience. Offer giveaways or discounts to everyone who follows you on Twitter, or have all your Facebook fans/friends upload something onto your wall for a prize. You’re not losing by starting up a system of rewards; you’ll be making customers happy while tremendously widening your audience.
5. Pay attention to the KEY word: “social.” If you’re planning on doing automatic updates or making your social media account seem more like a company website than a personal account, then don’t anticipate seeing the feedback and results you desire. The key word in social media is “social,” and this is what has made many businesses successful in developing a wider audience and greater online presence. Put yourself out there: communicate with your audience, send messages, and interact on a daily basis without going M.I.A.
Dean Loring and Mike Gilligan founded Burger Lounge in 2006. The company specializes in providing Tallgrass beef produced in a sustainable environment with animals whose diets solely consist of green grass from the Kansas prairieland. Burger Lounge has successfully incorporated social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp!) into its marketing campaign through multiple gift card and burger giveaways. This utilization of social media has listed Burger Lounge as TrendSlate’s “100 Southern California Restaurants to follow on Twitter” and led a Yelp! reviewer to describe the business as “the master of two things—social marketing and burgers.”