The Dangers of ‘Bulk-Buying’ Social Media Tools

This is a guest post by Sarah Murray. If you would like to submit a guest article, please check out our guest post guidelines.

Social Media BandwagonIf you have a small business, odds are you’re already on social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others have become a staple of business marketing.

However, while we know social media is important for our business success, many of us aren’t sure how exactly to use it effectively.

Much like multi-buy options at a supermarket, many businesses panic buy social media, signing up for everything.

Using social tools improperly is almost as detrimental as not using them at all.

If you’re the potential customer for an electronics shop and you go on that shop’s Twitter or Facebook profile and the page has few or no posts and tweets, what are you going to think?

Like a restaurant with no customers, a dead social media profile is off-putting.

Contrast that with a shop with an active site which regularly posts about its products and has an active communication with its customers. It looks like that shop is going places and that they value their interaction with their customers.

How to use social media

Ok, so if social media is so important to a business, how can you use it effectively?

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

If you’re a very small business and don’t have time to constantly update your profiles, just sign up for one or two sites. Facebook and Twitter are probably the best to start with.

2. Set goals.

Aim to tweet at least once a day and post something on Facebook at least every second day. Remember to link with other businesses and follow other businesses relevant to your industry.

3. Don’t feel you have to stick to your area of expertise.

If you’re an electronics company you can post about more than just the latest Smart TV or tablet. Expand your interests – what about posting about the latest action film, or Rihanna’s latest single. That way you’re keeping in your field of expertise (what are people going to listen to Rihanna’s latest single on?) but you’re showing you’re more than just a shop.

4. Start a dialogue.

Ask questions, even if it’s something as simple as, “What are you doing this weekend?” Building up relationships with customers on social media can make a world of difference – they recommend to their friends, who recommend to their friends and so on.

What’s your best tip for effective social media use?

Sarah MurraySarah Murray works for Appliances Online, when she isn’t tweeting, posting, linking or pinning, she enjoys reading classic literature, visiting historical sites and dabbling in archaeology. Follow her life on Twitter.