The Shotgun Is Not Always Your Best Weapon | Social Media Basics

February 12, 2014

Would you like your business on Facebook?

Unsolicited but essential advice on using Social Media from United WebWorks.

Thinking about using Social Media to generate interest and sales? Read on and learn.

Stay social.

This is not the place to demonstrate your vast knowledge of widgets. Your tone should be winsome, charming and fun.

BAD - "Did you know that widget sales have increased by 13% in the last ten years? Don't miss out on the opportunity to get yours today!" [link]

Adopt that tone with friends and soon you won't have any. "Angela, did you know that the average weight gain after age 40 is 13% per year? You should join a gym today! Here's the phone number."

MUCH BETTER - "How many of your friends have widgets at home? Do you think there's a widget bandwagon?"

Sounds much more like an honest question, yet gets the idea across: the reader is now thinking about acquiring a widget if everyone else has one.

Create and participate in the conversation.

Know what the real issues are. Study industry trends and innovations. Ask a lot of questions and expect answers. Stir up a little controversy. Offer opinions. Most social conversations aren't 140 characters and done. Try to get a "thread" going where readers are responding to each other.

Don’t trust your sources.

Check every fact, figure, quote, statistic and photo. Never refer to The Onion as a reputable news outlet. Even if you are fooled (it happens to the best of us, Oprah.) you have a chance to show your humanity and apologize. If it seems appropriate, use humor to retract an erroneous statement. and other rumor debunking websites are a good place to start, but even then check more than one source, or qualify a claim as "possible" or "alleged." And in case you wondered, mayonnaise is not really the food-poisoning scourge you think it is. It's acidity actually inhibits bacterial growth.

Rifle, not shotgun.

dog_apple_stock_pictureTrying to enter every form of social media all at once risks using none of them well. It takes a thoughtful plan to penetrate one medium well and more than a few shots to hit the bull's-eye. Social media outlets are not created equal, so don't try to cut and paste an entry from Twitter to Facebook and expect it to feel right. "Following" on Twitter is very different than "Liking" on Facebook.

Also, there are new social media outlets running for the big boys all the time. Find out where your target audience is moving. Ever hear of VK? It's Europe's Facebook, and in 9th place of the top 15. After Facebook with almost a billion participants, the rest of the top five are: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus.

Your business is just learning the ropes, so don't over reach, fail and put Social Media on the tried and died pile. One mistake that's easy to make is allowing your Twitter feed to become a customer service department. You'll have a mess on your hands if you don't experiment and problem-solve in a limited way at first.

It's OK to spend the day on Facebook.

There's a lot of learning to do, so lighten up and start reading. There's no shortcut to expertise in Social Media, so let yourself or one of your marketers be a consumer of it. Find companies or organizations similar to yours, or people that have the most followers / friends. Find out what makes them interesting or compelling.

A Social Media presence could be a great next level for your company, especially if you have one or more other marketing strategies in place. Even print ads can take advantage of the internet. Scan codes or these things:

facebook twitter linkedin pinterest googleplus

Make it easy to cross over from one medium to the next, making them work together effectively.

Join the party! Who knew marketing could be fun? Want to keep the conversation going? Visit United WebWorks to discover a mother lode of ideas and help with your online presence and social media marketing.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Social Media Marketing