Social Media and Your Online Brand

While a recent survey by Experian Hitwise found that Facebook advertising presence translated into actual profit for UK businesses, one of the main benefits of Facebook and other social media sites is the increased exposure to consumers and the opportunity to interact and engage with a target audience. A survey from Social Media Examiner found that 88 percent of marketers say increased exposure was the number one advantage. How do you make sure that exposure is positive and conductive to your business goals?

  • Be social. The very worst thing you can do is alienate a potential consumer who has made a comment or asked a question. Not only does that particular person feel slighted, all the other people who see that comment will know you didn’t respond. That’s just bad form. Respond to comments, even negative ones. Especially negative ones.
  • Give them something. Why should someone “friend” your business or like it? What’s in it for them? Coupons? Contests? Product information? Information? Mundane chit-chat is fine if you are writing on your own Wall, but not for your business. Think of it as feeding your body. You want to give it sustenance and nutrition, not empty calories and junk.
  • Use blogs. The blogosphere is saturated, which makes it harder to get noticed. On the other hand, people expect you to have one. Make yours stand out with quality content and link to it from your social media profiles and your website.
  • Measure your progress. Define your goal and figure out a way to measure. For instance, you may want to have 100 followers within a week of launching your profile. That’s easy to measure! Or you may want your web traffic to increase 5 percent in a month. Whatever your goal, measure it, assess your progress, and then re-evaluate your strategies.
  • Never, under any circumstances, send any compromising pictures of yourself or messages to anyone. Ever. We’re kidding, of course! No, we’re not. Don’t do it.

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