5 big ways your business can help its social media community


Social Media Plants

Many businesses are jumping onto the social media bandwagon with the hopes of increasing their revenue and customer base. Most of these businesses are using social media marketing the wrong way and view the social web as an unidirectional broadcasting channel. By broadcasting one way, they are missing the most important aspect of social media – engagement. Social media goes far beyond just chatting with the folks in your community. Digital marketers should ask themselves this question when starting on the social web: “What can your business do for the social media community?”

If you are using social media as a one-way communication channel to distribute your marketing message, get ready to not be successful with your campaign. Get your business to actively engage and participate on the social web to support the audience and community you are trying to reach.

Still not sure how and why you can use social media to its full advantage?

1. Be active and transparent
On the social web, there are a couple of rules to live by. This means being transparent and open. While many will think that this means opening up the floodgates of information about their company, it really doesn’t mean disclosing any information that is confidential about your clients or your company. Clearly define exactly what this means and let your clients, employees, and the public know about this. You can create a social media policy and guidelines that you can use within your business. Distribute this document to your employees.

2. Be human
The truth is that no one likes to talk and do business with a company or brand logo. On the social media channels you are using, decide how you are going to present the human side of your business. Is this going to be an executive or a customer service representative at your company? On the social web, your business or brand has to step out of its “corporate shell”. Social media requires your business to act human.

3. Share your expertise
Every company has its own share of expertise and you should take advantage of this information on the social web. Become a thought leader and industry expert on the social media channels you are using by sharing relevant and industry related content that your target audience will find interesting and that will benefit them. Always think about the people you would like to reach first before sharing any content.

4. Answer questions online
With social media, answer customer service related questions regarding your services or products. Don’t just stay within your owned media to answer questions. Give your employees the ability to answer questions regarding your company, brand, products or services on the social media channels that you are using. You can use LinkedIn, Quora, and other Q&A related channels as well with this process. You can also extend your customer service department to use social media.

5. Provide customer reviews
For many, this will be a big hurdle because they think that this will open up negative reviews from their customers. It’s 2013 and we are not living in the stone age any more. People have the ability to review anything about your business even without your participation. Why not use this information to your advantage and let your customers help get the word out about your business? Encourage your current customers to share their experience, tips, and techniques they experienced with their own network.

For many people stepping into social media for the first time is the importance to break down the organizational silos to enable the communication barriers between your customers and your employees. The basic thing that you should always remember is that people like to do business with real people. Humanize your business to be social.

Anton Koekemoer


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