Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are great ways to boost your profitability. They don't just supply the important information to your customers, but it also allows you to have more interaction with them in a different way, ultimately leading to more purchases from you. Don't get the wrong idea, there is a right way and wrong way to manage these social media profiles and pages for your business. Mismanaging the pages can not only get your posts lost in the fast moving newsfeeds, it can even make customers turn away from you. Follow these etiquette tips below for social media sites and keep your pages and profiles on the right track.
1. Complete Your Profile
Make a good first impression with potential customers, they should be able to find all the vital information as quickly as possible. This includes location (even if you're virtual), hours, contact information and a detailed description about your business services or products. Having good quality images are also important to polishing up your profile. Having photos of your storefront are also nice for potential customers, as well as any services or goods you provide.
2. Be Careful What You Share
Every post you share or post links to will represent your business to the online world. While you might find an article/picture/video to be entertaining or moving, make sure it isn't a risqué or controversial one. Often you'll find that your customers won't have the same sense of humor as you do or that they might become offended by something that you've shared on your page. This could potentially drive them away and leave a bad taste in their mouth about your business. Keep the posts to those about business and avoid any topics that might pertain to politics or religion, not excluding any other taboo topics. If you feel that these things have an exclusive relation to your business and you feel you need to post them, put a warning at the top and be tactful about it.
3. Earn Likes and +1's with Valuable Content
Begging for likes or +1's on social media isn't going to help you out at all. You see it all the time, page owners begging and plastering "Like My Page" on everything they share. More times than not, those posts drive everyone away from their page. The best way to get more subscribers to your social media page is to share valuable, meaningful content. Avoid topics such as religion, politics or other topics that are taboo on your business pages (unless, of course, they directly correspond to your business). There's a more tactful way to ask for customers to follow your social media page. If you have a mailing list, when you send the thank you email to the customer, you could say something like "follow us on (website) to keep up to date with the latest specials and services," this way they feel invited but not annoyed and pressured to check out your page.
4. Use Proper Grammar In Your Posts
Grammar matters. Nobody is going to take you seriously if you don't conduct your social media page in a professional manner. Make certain that you're using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation in all of your posts and in the details on your profile. If you aren't sure if what you're typing is correct, check it in a word document before posting it online. Something else to keep in mind, don't use ALL CAPS or un-needed exclamation points!!!! in your posts. The idea is to leave a professional impression to all who see your content and social media page, it is a form of advertisement for your business, after all.
5. Don't Stir The Controversy Pot
The basic rule here is if you wouldn't bring it up in your business place, don't bring it up on your business page. Why would you risk insulting your followers and customers with a touchy subject? It isn't worth the risk, avoid the controversial topics altogether to avoid potential conflict or hurt feelings.
6. Be Prompt In Your Replies
Few things are more important to a business page than replying to the comments, concerns and suggestions of others. This qualifies under customer service. Since you are busy running a business, provide information about how long to expect a reply from you on the page, and stick to the time you quoted.
7. Keep A Constructive Attitude
You won't always receive positive comments on your social media page. That's okay! If you receive complaints from your customers, acknowledge them, but be constructive. Never ever argue with a customer online. It will only make your business look bad. It's bad customer service overall. If you feel like something is getting a little out of hand, take it to a private message. If there was a genuine mistake made on your end, acknowledge it and apologize for it and offer a way to make right the situation. This could be with an exchange or coupon or with some other form of correction.
8. Don't Post Too Often
While it's important to regularly post updates to your page, you don't want to spam the newsfeed with your content. Space out your posts to be either every other day, or every few hours, be consistent and allow time between your shares.
9. Do Not Over Promote Your Business
When someone chooses to follow your page, they have already expressed interest in your services. They already know who you are, the next step is to convince them of why they should choose your business over the competition. Don't overdo the promotional posts. There's an 80/20 rule that many have found works for them. For every 8 informative posts, post 2 promotional ones. There's a line between promotion and spam, do not cross the line to the ugly side.
10. Do Not Post Pitches Anywhere Other Than Your Page
Sure, you can engage in the comment conversations and answer others questions while on another businesses page, you shouldn't pitch your products or services there. It's in bad taste and it will lead those who see it to think that you are a spammer. Let your profile speak for your business, and attract followers with the informative, conversations you have on with other pages.
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