How to Use Your Social Media for Business – A Case Study
There is a ‘RIGHT’ way to use your social media for business and an ‘OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING’ way to use your social media for business.
The first step is to remember that the first word in the term Social Media is SOCIAL. If you are going to use it for business, be polite and be smart about it.
Here is the Social Media For Business Rule we are going to discuss today:
If you are using your social media platform profiles for business, then before you do BUSINESS, you better be SOCIAL with the people you are targeting. Towards the end of this blog, you will see a process you can follow to do this.
Let me share with you a story of some guy, let’s call him Steve, who opened a pet supply delivery business. I only know about this because he dropped an unsolicited ad into my Facebook messenger mailbox. And he did it from his PERSONAL profile, not his business PAGE. I am 500 miles from his delivery area, but he felt the need to give me the blog material that you are currently reading.
My response was “You should probably ask if I have pets (I DO) and if I am in your delivery area (I'M NOT) prior to sending this ad into my box.”
HIS response “Then just ignore me or take me off your friend list LOL”
You know, there are other things people can do besides that friend list. They can report your ad as spam and inappropriate. That could lose you your free marketing tool known as Facebook. You do not own that personal profile.
Prior to taking his advice, I went to his personal profile. He had posted the ad on Facebook 5 times with ZERO responses from his over 2300 friends.
“I am so very excited to announce the Grand Opening of XYZ Pet Supply Delivery! I have recently partnered with several pet Supply stores…and am expanding to additional ones each week! Food, supplies, toys and treats for pets and animals of any kind! Now. XYZ Pet Supply Delivery is providing personalized delivery service throughout Southern California…
Please call/text me at 213-555-5555 or email me at XYZ___@gmail.com for further info.
And when a friend, neighbor, family member or co-worker that you refer uses XYZ PSD, your next delivery is on us! No need to travel out or pay outrageous delivery fees…XYZ Pet Supply Delivery has got your critters covered!”
One would think that with over 2300 friends, at least ONE would have given him a cursory thumbs up icon. I mean, after all, one of their friends has just started a business and that is ALWAYS worth a 😊.
After seeing that, I was curious as heck so I kept scrolling down. My thoughts were confirmed, he was almost ‘all business,’ no ‘backyard bbq.’
That had not given his 2300+ FB friends a reason to get involved with his profile, or him. On your personal profile, you MUST think of it as a party and all your friends have come there to relax with friends. They don’t want to be sold while holding a virtual hot dog.
It’s kind of like the story of Chicken Little. Poor little guy gave his audience nothing but unneeded information and when he needed to give them important (to Steve) information, they would not pay attention.
Business owners: you get to use social media platforms at their discretion. For free. That is a pretty awesome deal that Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and all the others have given us. So we need to learn how to use them to our best advantage.
Let me say, though, that I am not without sin. I have done stuff like this, too, and learned from my mistake. If you are friends with me on facebook, and we have a new book about to publish, you will see me post amusing memes about the book and begging you to invest $.99 for it. That happens on our business page, but I DO add it to our personal profiles. There IS a place for business on your personal profile.
But there are limits. And there are social etiquette rules:
On your business page, it’s 80% business posts and on your personal profile it is 80% pictures and videos of your cats, dogs, lunch, etc.
So what should you do if you want to do business on your personal social media platforms? We talk about this a lot at the Small Business Breakthrough Bootcamps.
Here is the starter list of easy steps you can follow:
- Stick to the 80/20 rule I defined earlier;
- Post often. How often? Our rule is at least once every day on your business page and at least 3 times a day on your personal profile. This lets your audience know you are serious about using social media to connect AND it lets the platform know you are serious about using THEIR platform (their algorithms pick that stuff up); and
- Your business posts can be educational as well as for sales. It’s OK to give away some information.
- If you are going to use the Private Messaging feature, then we suggest you let your audience know you are going to do it in advance. Use a message like this:
“Hi ____________, I realize we don’t communicate privately that often on this platform and we want to change that. We are in the _______ business. Is there some info we can provide you that will help you or your business?”
- Do you see what I did there? I was trying to be OF SERVICE instead of being SALSEY. That does two things:
- It allows you to find out which connections you have that are in your target market; and
- It allows you to find out which connections you have that are NOT in your target market and would just piss off if you tried to do business with them.
Picture a Pepsi truck pulling up outside your house and unloading a bunch of their soda, but you only drink Coca-Cola.
- By SERVING your clients, you now are better set up to share your product or service with them and they are more likely to at least take a look at what you are offering them; and
- THANK THEM and offer another free bit of information, whether they look, look and buy, or look and don’t buy.
Here is another marketing freebie for Steve: Before naming your business, you should see if the URL for your business name is available. Then, before opening your business, you should buy the URL for your business name. Otherwise, a competitor could swoop in and buy it and redirect it to their own website. That means that if anyone does a Google search for your name, they will be directed away from you and toward your marketing-smart competitor.
What I am saying here is don’t be a Steve. Get yourself some social media education. Would you like that social media education for free? Go to www.FreeMarketingConsultation.com and book us for a free 30-minute discovery session. We can trouble-shoot your social media dilemmas and then we will send you our free social media book, The Marketing Checklist for Social Media. That book comes with a super secret URL that connects you with a video of us doing a live social media training and lots of free social media content.