|Social media can be a powerful tool, but not in its entirety. It will only help to build your reputation, but that's not enough in business - without an integrated strategy to focus your objectives, it's relatively useless and very costly - in time, money and effort!|
Like Britain's Got Talent’s recent egg-thrower knows, you can increase your followers significantly (I watched them grow by approx 200 every 10 seconds!) but it will never create good PR - only good TV!!! Will she now become famous for her earned talent? Unlikely! Her online reputation will always be built on a joke! (Or a tedious, eggcentric metaphor)
SIX SOCIAL MEDIA RULES IN BUSINESS:
1. Listen don't sell!
No company has ever been successful via social media - by 'bragging'. Listen to your audience and make self-assessed judgements. Be your industry's spokesperson and a voice of experience - remember people don't want to feel subjected to continual sales messages. Self/business promotion can be achieved far simpler with some emotional intelligence.
2. Who are you?
Establish your personality first, then decide what you want your public to see, hear and follow. Who are you? What do you stand for? Are you fun, serious, witty, humorous? Firstly, decide this and secondly, maintain consistency throughout all your communications.
3. A picture tells a thousand words
It is known that articles, blogs, tweets, etc are more influential when accompanied by imagery. You will get a far higher user engagement with images than text alone. The added value of any complementary material, or perception of something for 'free' is a bonus especially when building your community. Want to be 'liked'? Offer that little bit more!
4. Leverage the potential
In the digital revolution - not leveraging your brand online is a catastrophe. Make it part of your integrated communications strategy. BUT always make it relevant to your company, customers, and business goals otherwise it's a catastrophic waste of budget.
5. Measure, review, refine
Don't underestimate the ROI with social media... The majority of marketing can be measured - but the power of any social media message might get lost in the whole measurement matrix. Just because a sales conversion didn't come directly from 'Twitter' doesn't mean to say the initial interest didn't..!
6. Earn that trust!
Listen to your audience, learn, engage, grow your followers, GAIN TRUST.