Why Entrepreneurs Need Social Media
By: Paul Bliss 02/02/2014
This sounds like a no brainer right? But many times without a great plan in place the time spent on social sites might be a waste of time.
Know why you are on the social platforms.
Everyone is promoting something, but is the end goal to promote sales or the idea that started your business?
Knowing the answer to this question will influence the way your brand interacts on the social sites, and will even help in making the right decisions on what endeavors to participate in.
Baby steps before you run
Every entrepreneur (social or not) wants to watch their ideas prosper into a successful venture, but patience must be practiced. As a new voice in the space, there will be some growing pains. The best way to make it through is to create strong relationships with manageable partnerships that match your scale. In the beginning, no one is too small.
Stay focused on your vision
Decisions based strictly on profit potential often end in failure. Make sure your vision and passion are part of the equation of success. By using those as your guidelines you will often attract the right partners.
Change is constant, don't get deterred by it.
Most times you won't have your unique selling proposition perfected at the start. The process will evolve as the business goals and ideas grow, and being able to gain clarity for the model that will work for you is worth the time invested.
Humanize Your Brand
No one wants to follow a brand that doesn't have an interesting voice behind it. By definition, being social is what will make you stand out from everyone else. Don't waste this precious chance to let fans interact with your brand.
Produce quality content
Always easier said than done. But, if you are truly offering something that no one else has, then this should have a great story behind it. Live that story and always be talking about it. It's the culture of your brand.
Provide Efficient Customer Service
Don't fall into the scared side of knowing their might be negative statements made about your brand. This is the equalizer in turning the angry mob into an understanding group that will acknowledge that we are all humans, and none of us are perfect. But those willing to address the warts will often times find the answer to a problem that can't be determined internally.
Follow Likeminded People In The Business
Chances are that there will be organic moments where you can reach out for advice or even offer some since you think the same way. This is a great way to start a lifetime of great relationships.
And not just your own stuff. If you find something that you know your fans would enjoy, tell them about it. No one wants to be brandcuffed everytime you post. Part of being a great brand is recognizing the greatness of others and telling others about it. It also makes your brand stronger by acknowledging what others are doing.
Remember Entertainment Value
A little light humor can go a long way toward humanizing your brand. Not everything needs to be a punch line, but if you can inject subtle ways to entertain, your fans will appreciate the effort.
Throw In Some Inspiration
Inspiring quotes and photos make a brand feel less commercial and get more shares. Make sure they reflect the vision and ideas of your brand.
Use social media to build your business, and vice-versa. Business owners often view social media as a component of marketing or PR. However, social media is also a great way to build rapport as a leader in the space you are operating within.
Embrace each social network's unique culture. Each social network attracts a different audience of users. Embrace the individuality of each service and play to its strengths. What works on Facebook may not get the same results on Pinterest.
Offer An Exclusive
Whether it's a deal only for your Twitter network or a first look at something, people like to feel as if they're in the inner circle. Be sure to make it something measureable so that you can see the impact of your social efforts.
There is nothing that will kill your social presence like this. People will see right through this and will view your brand in a negative light should you decide to use thos process. This doesn't mean you can't automate some of your messages, but you can't just grab a bunch of content and blast it out to the web.
Respond to everything
Make sure you thank posters for their positive comments as well. Anything that reinforces the notion that there's a human being behind the logo is going to help your overall cause.
Monitor social media accounts
No longer is this an option. Paying attention to your audience yields great payoffs in how they percieve you and the brand. It also alerts you to and potential issues that might crop up. It can also help provide insight into a story that could go viral, and your brand could hop on the rise of that topic.
Social media is here to stay. Embrace it and make it part of your culture.