What is Social Media?
What is Social Media and How Should You Use It?
On its most basic level, social media is a means of electronic communication. In fact, Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines social media as “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).”
The key to social media is communication. Over the past few years, social media has become a vital tool for businesses of all types. The problem is that many businesses don’t know how to best utilize social
media. The reason: people don’t want constant sales and marketing on social media. They want communications and connections. Social media users want to have conversations and interact; they do not want you to sell to them all of the time.
That being said, there is a place in social media for marketing and sales – if you do it right.
1. Listen. Before you start posting on your social media accounts, take time to listen (read) what customers and others in your industry are saying. You need to provide content your customers want to see, hear and read. In order to do that, you first need to listen.
2. Be authentic. You need to be yourself on social media. Write the way you would speak to someone in person. Don’t use a lot of technical jargon that your customers won’t understand. In order to connect with others on social media, you need to be yourself.
3. Give out information people/customers can use. In order to get viewed on social media, you need to be relevant, helpful and authoritative. A blog is a great way to disseminate information on social media while growing brand recognition. This way, you’re giving important tips or advice without being overtly sales-y.
4. Don’t talk to people; talk with them. Social media is a two-way conversation. I already mentioned that you need to listen. You also need to engage. Ask questions of your customers. Answer their questions and concerns. Be polite. Be courteous. Add an emoticon from time-to-time. Just be you.
So what is social media? Social media is a way to engage your customers without being too much of a salesperson. Be helpful first. The sales will follow.