Social Media: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You’re Good

I’m excited to announce a guest blog from across the pond! Megan Brown lives in Indianapolis (that’s in the USA don’t you know!!) – I mean when someone called Megan emails me how can I not agree to a guest blog! I love this post on That Girl Megan “5 top tips for promoting Twitter in 140 characters or less”  – Tip #1: Repeat after me: “I am NOT Justin Bieber.” … you have to go and read it!! After you obviously read this ….. 

Those who are self-employed also need health insurance, but health insurance costs money — it’s another monthly bill. But, it’s better than paying crazy hospital and doctor’s fees if you don’t have self-employed health insurance. To be able to afford health insurance, you’ve got to increase your sales or strengthen your brand’s backing, which you can do by increasing clientele and presence online.

#joannedewberry facebookAre You Really an Expert in Social Media?
Aha! Social media! You’re already thinking, “Well, that’s easy, I’m an expert in using Facebook and Twitter.” But are you? Just because you do use it, doesn’t mean you’re good at using it for a specific reason. Society is fickle. A person may like the way you present yourself, but the one sitting next to him may not like your presentation. The one who likes it will tout your virtues and the one who doesn’t will tell people not to do business with you. You may be wondering why Joe Schmo isn’t taking advantage of your great deals — take a look at your social media account. Maybe you shared a picture from another user with a not-so-nice user ID and that user ID offended Joe Schmo. Maybe one of your friends posted a not-so-nice word on your status and that word offended your buddy Joe. There are a lot of things to take into account.

Branding is an important part of marketing. It tells the world who you are and what you do. It also tells the world about you — or your business — as a person. Just let that one little word or opinion slip by your buddy Joe and your brand image just took a trip south in his eyes — and possibly in his friends’ eyes, too. Oops.

Social Media Tips
Use social media accounts to your advantage. That means using them to brand yourself and to show off your company in a professional manner.

  1. Separate Accounts: Keep your professional and personal life separate. Have a personal account that is in no way related to your professional account. Stick to your brand and your business philosophy on the business account and have fun on the personal account.
  2. Numbers Don’t Matter: It doesn’t matter if you have 100 or 100,000 followers. If the 100,000 don’t bother reading your stuff, buy your products or take advantage of your services, they are just wasted space. You want the 100 or 100,000 that actually have an interest in you, your products, and services.
  3. Don’t Buy Hits: Don’t buy followers, pay people to visit your site or any other thing to get people to visit your brand, other than marketing through regular marketing channels. It doesn’t make sense to purchase a mailing list or to pay people to follow you on Twitter. Once your reputation is out there, people will come.
  4. Flaunt Your Products and Services: Flaunt your stuff on your business account, but don’t overdo it. There is a thing as “too much.” Add your social media business accounts to your signature for emails and forums. If someone asks you about the services or products you provide, be sure to answer them in a compelling and informative manner — and direct them to your site.
  5. Engage People: Engagement is where the Mac Daddy is. This is why numbers don’t matter. You want people who are truly interested in you, your products and services. Maybe that person isn’t ready to buy yet, but will definitely buy your product or service in a few weeks or months. Keep those people engaged — they aren’t just tire kickers — they just don’t have the need or the funds to purchase your brand at this time.

Write articles about your services, blog about your products, use polling apps to engage people, encourage comments and maybe even hold some contests for some free stuff — just make sure the free stuff is significant or people will go out and talk about what a cheapskate you are. Being called a cheapskate isn’t good for brand image.

Offer a free service for those who sign up for a newsletter. If you’re a writer, offer a free 250-word blog post. If you provide legal services, offer a free consultation. If you sell gadgets, offer a personalized gadget to the 100th person to sign up for your newsletter each month. It doesn’t have to be big and expensive… just significant. You’ll earn enough to get self-employed health insurance — and anything else you want or need.

Megan Brown is a self-admitted internet nerd with love for social media innovation. She works at Slingshot SEO as a social media networker as well as takes on clients freelance for social media strategy and consulting. When not geeking out online, Megan enjoys cheering on her favorite sports teams, shopping for the perfect pair of stilettos to wear out dancing, or spending time with her sidekick, a mischevious yorkie named Alexa. Join the conversation with Megan online on twitter – @thatgirlmegan (and Alexa, @alexatheyorkie), on her personal blog-  That girl Megan, or sharing her special brand of sports sass – That girl on deck

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