For many small businesses, even creating a Google+, Twitter or Facebook account is an achievement in and of itself. And yet, some companies find they stall out once they arrive on social media, unsure of what to post. Following the unspoken “rules of engagement,” however, can go a long way towards building your fan base fast.
It comes down to one central tenet. Most of the time, talk about something besides yourself. This may seem counterintuitive. After all, this is your company’s social media account, right? Surely it’s meant for touting your products and services. While true to a certain extent, don’t go overboard.
Instead, adhere to the 80/20 recommendation proposed by consultant Steven D. Strauss, author of the best selling Small Business Bible (http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1118135946). According to Strauss, 80% of anything you post should address your customers immediate needs, likes or problems. Only 20% should be directly about your own goods and services.
In other words, think of social media as a party. Even if you planned to go in order to network with as many people as possible, you wouldn’t attend only to discuss yourself the whole evening. You’d ask questions. You’d draw out others guests to talk about their plans, interests and hopes for the future. Social media works in the same way. Authentic interest in your customers makes your company interesting to them. Following this simple guideline will allow you to make real connections, and turn consumers into loyal fans.