Using Social Media Well for Your Business

This week I met with a new client whose experience is probably much like yours. He owns a successful smaller enterprise, and knows he “should” add social media to his marketing mix. But how, and which formats?

Which Social Networking Works?

My advice to clients is always to meet their customers where they are. If you are a business with customers who are middle-aged women, for instance, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with them if you’re not on Facebook. (I predict seniors are going to be an up-and-coming Facebook population next.) If you provide professional services for other businesses, LinkedIn is a platform not to ignore. Think Twitter is just for celebrities? You might be surprised at how many customers really do want to follow you!

How Often Should I Post?

Remember, social media is not email marketing. Email marketing is “outbound” marketing, while social media is an “inbound” tool. That means that customers and targets who are choosing to read and/or request your posts are truly looking for information about your company. Even so, don’t abuse their permission to send information about your business. Keep your posts timely, ultra relevant to your audience, and informative. I think there is a thin line between being informative and creating an annoyance. Just because they love your product or service doesn’t mean they want to hear about it 24/7! How often to post or tweet is really dependent upon your business, its industry, and your clientele’s appetite for information.

One product I like, personally, is a supplier of organic milk. Even though I buy their product quite loyally, I don’t really care to get an update every time it’s carried in a new restaurant – especially if that restaurant is way out of my geographic area. If they come up with a new product,  however, that I really want to get word on! So remember, what is important or concerning to you as a business owner may or may not hit a hot button with your target audience. Try to put yourself in their shoes when writing your posts. Of course, this advice carries over to messages for all marketing material, in my opinion – websites and blogs, email newsletters, brochures, etc.