Starting out on social media? Take note of my top 8 rules of engagement:
1. Be Transparent. Your honesty or dishonesty will be picked up almost straight away through social media. Don’t make things up or lie to people.
2. Give more than you receive. To receive attention you must be prepared to give it to others first.
3. Add value. You must add value to the community to earn great connections. Don’t submit content nobody cares about. Give valuable information that your connections can benefit from. Do not sell or promote your products. Instead “un-market” and become a resource for your connections/followers.
4. Build Quality Relationships. People are more willing to do business with people they know and trust. Remember relationships require the participation of both parties; so always be a good participant in your social media relationship. Give back, reciprocate and recognise notable contributions from participants in your community.
5. Be curious. Discover all relevant communities of interest and observe the choice challenges, impressions and wants of the people within your network.
6. Develop a code of conduct. This needs to be developed to determine the way you want your brand to be promoted through social media. Determine the identity, character and personality of the brand.
7. Seek fusion marketing partners. Earn connections through collaboration. Who can you work together with? Ask people to refer you.
8. Be profit driven.
Please keep these in mind especially when you are starting out. Many individuals that are new to Facebook and Twitter get on and see it as a forum to promote and sell their products. I will be the first person to tell you that this is NOT the way to approach social networking. You will be seen as annoying and people won’t trust you. You will find it very hard to build up quality connections if you go down this path.
Instead social media is a platform to add value to your networks. Adopt a ‘giving mentality’ and try to constantly think of ways to provide valuable information to your followers. Social media is all about being ‘front of mind’ for when that day comes when a prospect might need your product or service. This is how social media works. It is not a short term fix to get more sales it is a brand awareness strategy that will provide benefits to your business over time.