Got Social Media?

Your customers today are more connected than ever. Make sure that you are staying connected with them through social media.

Author: OnMedia-Writer

Facebook for Businesses

Facebook Logo


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Whatever your feelings are towards Facebook, it is an excellent tool for connecting with your customers and especially finding new ones. It’s quite easy to target potential customers geographically, and for happy customers to spread word of mouth advertising. I quite often check business Facebook pages for stores before I go to visit in person to look up store hours, product photos, and possibly even contact them directly through Facebook to see if they have something specific that I am looking for.

Setting up a business page

You’ll create a different sort of profile for your Facebook business than for your personal page, and they will let you choose a custom URL (ie. www.facebook.com/yourcompanyname) that you can include on your business cards and print advertising. Once set up people who ‘Like’ your page will receive any updates that you post to the page. You can invite friends to like the page or share it on open groups, and you can also upload an email list and send out invites that way. As with all things, don’t overdo it and end up spamming people with like requests and posts, that’s a quick way to get yourself blocked from their newsfeed or unfriended.

Keep it updated with a variety of content

You’ll want to keep your page up to date with a lot of quality content. You don’t need to post daily, if you’ve really only got one good post in your every week then just post once a week. Post a variety of content, people really enjoy photos and video. Make sure it is relevant to your product or service though, and ideally pictures of you or your actual products. Everybody loves hilarious cat pictures, but if your buisness has nothing to do with cats then it’s not really worth your customers time.

Respond quickly and professionally

If you have a business page it’s possible that people may try to contact you through direct message. Make sure that you are checking daily so that you can respond to any messages in a timely fashion. Similarly, people may post to your business’ wall, and you should respond to that quickly as well even if it’s just to say ‘thanks!’. If somebody posts something negative or critical you need to be very careful about how you respond to them. Remember that whatever you say will be public and visible for the world to see. Too many times I have seen business owners venting about difficult customers or colleagues on their pages. Even if they don’t mention names, it just looks really negative and unprofessional. If somebody does post a criticism of your business perhaps a good way to deal with it would be to thank them for bringing the issue to your attention, and then contact them directly to see if you can help them further. And remember, there are some people out there who make a hobby out of complaining about businesses and will not be satisfied. It’s not worth it to get into a social media debate with them, just thank them for their feedback and leave it at that.

Twitter for Businesses

twitter logo

Twitter can be a really useful tool to promote your small business and connect with your clients, both current and potential. However, due to the fact that you have a very small number of characters to use to communicate with your customers it can also be challenging. There are also a few things you need to be conscientious of, so let’s take a look at some of the basics.

Twitter Vocab

Tweet: Is a picture, video, or text message of 140 characters or less.

Hashtag: Kind of like a blog tag, you use the ‘#’ symbol before a word or phrases to denote that this is something you would like your tweet sorted by. When somebody searches for that word or phrase, or looks at a List for that word or phrase your tweet will show up. In the lefthand side of your screen you will see trending hashtags. A lot of businesses will tweet something regarding the trending hashtag to get seen by a large number of people. It’s a good strategy if the hashtag is relevant to what you do and you have something of value to contribute to the conversation. As with on all social media, do not spam. Nobody likes that.

Retweet: Underneath the tweets you will see three symbols, ‘reply’, ‘retweet’, and ‘Favorite’. A retweet is when you repost somebody else’s tweet to your timeline so that your followers can see it. Why would you do this? Maybe they said something complimentary about your business, or recommended that people use you for your particular service or product. It’s always effective to show testimonials from your customers to help reel in potentials.

Reply: You would want to use this feature to respond if somebody asked a question, and it’s always nice to say thank you for some positive feedback. It’s also a good idea to respond to negative feedback, provided that you do so in a constructive and professional manner.

Mention: Sometimes you want to send a tweet to a user, you can do so by typing @username (replacing ‘username’ with whatever their Twitter handle is) and then your message. They will be notified that you mentioned them in a tweet and it will show up in their timeline.

Potential Pitfalls

As with all social media, it’s really only useful for your business if you plan on keeping it updated and actively engaging with the community and your current/potential clients. A Twitter feed with only a few tweets from a year ago does not look professional, and does not inspire people to follow you or look further into your business.

As I briefly mentioned above, dealing with negative feedback or tweets gracefully is very important. There are a lot of stories out there about how social media went very, very wrong for business owners when they said something careless, or responded defensively when a customer gave them negative feedback. Think before you tweet, keep it strictly professional, and don’t be rude to people even if they are rude to you first. Remember that these words are out there for the whole world to see and judge your business by.

Twitter’s Guide for Businesses

Tumblr, do I need it?

Tumblr logo

If you’re setting up social media for your small business then you’ve probably already got a Facebook and Twitter account, they make it very easy to find and connect with customers that are local to you. But what about some of the other social media networks out there? In this post we will take a look at Tumblr and whether or not it’s right for your small business.

What is Tumblr?

Tumblr is what is known as a micro-blogging platform, meaning that it’s aimed at very short, succinct posts. Think of it as falling somewhere in between Twitter and regular blog. You can post text, video, pictures, links, audio, quotes. Typically you would post a paragraph, or a picture with maybe a short caption. Some people do use it as a full blog platform and post lengthy articles or opinion pieces, and I don’t believe that Tumblr limits your character count, but it’s more for the bite sized posts that people can scroll quickly through while on a break at work or school. If you have a long and in-depth article, your better off posting that on a regular blog or news site. You can customize the theme of your Tumblr, but unless it’s being accessed from outside Tumblr, most people will not see it. Most of your posts will be viewed through your followers ‘dashboard’, which is a newsfeed of all of the blogs and tags that you follow. Instead of ‘likes’ or ‘favourites’, you get notes on your post. People can then ‘reblog’ your post, which puts it out to their followers who can further reblog it from there. If you post something that strikes a cord with your followers and it gets reblogged many times, or just once by somebody with a lot of followers it has the potential to go viral pretty quickly. Like with most blogs your posts will be ‘tagged’, which will help people to find them.

So all that being said, is it right for your business?

SEO

From an SEO perspective, links from a Tumblr account do count as a backlink in Google. But since your blog is a sub-domain of the main tumblr.com URL you might not be getting the link juice that you are hoping for. It’s a worthwile endeavour, but you have to make sure that when you are working on implementing a backlinking strategy that not all of your links are coming in from Web 2.0 type sites (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, most social media and ‘free’ blogging sites in general), that looks highly fishy to Google and will actually be detrimental to your ranking. If you choose to include Tumblr as part of your backlinking strategy (and it certainly wouldn’t hurt), as with any other blog make sure to also post real content on your Tumblr. Othwerwise you are just spamming and will have a difficult time gaining followers, as you should!

How mobile is your service/product?

If you only plan weddings in your town and can’t or aren’t willing to travel, you may have a hard time targeting customers in your area through your Tumblr. You could tag posts with the name of your town or area that you work in, but like most social media the best way to gain followers is to follow other people first and Tumblr doesn’t readily offer up information on a users locale like Facebook and Twitter do. However, if you have a product that can be easily shipped anywhere, or a service that you are able to telecommute for then this is a moot point.

What is your demographic?

Tumblr is probably one of the least diversified social media platforms in terms of age distribution, most Tumblr users are in their teens or early 20’s, lots of high school and university students. If that’s your target demographic then great! Not to say that there are no middle aged and older folks on Tumblr at all, but I’d say that they are in the minority. Then again, John Green and Barack Obama use Tumblr?