You’d think that learning the social media dos and don’ts would be easier.
There has been a lot of hullabaloo lately about a blogger’s post that went viral: about the awfulness of some of the methods new business owners often try of pushing their products on social media, and basically alienating their friends and families who are sick of seeing “buy my stuff” constantly.
And you know what?
Simply put, there are correct and incorrect ways to market your new small business online. And unfortunately, some people don’t bother to learn the right way to leverage social media after launching into their new adventure.
People come to Facebook for two primary reasons: to connect socially, and to be entertained. If you are not serving one of those purposes with your personal posts, then you need to rethink your strategy.
The Social Media Dos and Don’ts
- Post all your business content on your personal Facebook profile. It’s against Facebook policy, and frankly, just tacky to push your business content into the newsfeed of people who you are supposed to be friends with socially. Do this constantly, and expect some unfriending.
- Add people to private Facebook groups without their consent. People want control over their own newsfeeds, and suddenly you’ve put the burden on them to leave the group they never opted-in to in the first place. I’m now the horrible awful friend that doesn’t support your business. Thanks for the guilt.
- Tag your friends on business posts on your personal page. It forces the content in the newsfeed of your friend’s friends, and is a sneaky underhanded way to expand your reach. Taking advantage of your friends in this way (especially those with large friend counts) is so underhanded, it’s almost brilliant. But if they are equally brilliant, they’ll tell you to chill out on the “Oh my gosh, this amazingly awesome thing I sell made me think of you!!” [while tagging 15 of your best friends].
- Invite 1500 of your closest friends (or those you haven’t spoken to since 8th grade) to your Facebook parties. Cattle call for jewelry, or makeup, or skin care, or nail wraps, or home decor – fun! Um, no. Expect very low responses and engagement.
- Friend someone you haven’t talked to in forever, and immediately hit them with your fan page link. Really? You only want me for my “like”? I feel so cheap.
All this stuff is just off-putting and unprofessional, and is what gives a lot of small business owners a bad reputation.
It’s creating a dynamic between you and your friends in which your friends and family will largely avoid you and your posts.
Totally not the goal of Facebook and social networking.
So what should you doing instead? Read on!
- Setup a Facebook business page. Post your business content there. Invite your peeps to come over and like your page. Send them personal messages inviting them. And by all means, do not send an invite to your fan page to someone you haven’t ever had an IRL conversation with, or someone you haven’t talked to since 8th grade. Or warm contacts under the coy veil of “we haven’t chatted in so long! Come see what I’m doing now!” It’s kinda transparent. Trust me – no one is going to buy from someone with whom they have zero social relationship.
- Create original content that reflects your online personality and voice. Your content should follow an 80/20 rule. 20% business stuff, 80% everything else. Find your voice, cultivate your style, and use it.
- Engage with your friends, and build personal reciprocity. Your true friends and family want to support your business. They really do. They just don’t want to be pressured, feel guilty, or constantly exposed to it. Trust me, they know what you sell. You don’t need to remind them every other minute.
- Create community and personal engagement on your fan page. Give your fans a reason to come back – and guess what, it probably won’t be because of your product. They are coming back because of YOU. What do you have to offer? Your humor? Your amazing tips? Your stunning sense of fashion? That’s your community.
- Invite only a small group to your Facebook parties, and follow-up each with a personal message about the exclusive event for your VIP guests. Would you invite 1500 people to your house? No. You’d invite your closest friends who you know are interested in the topic or product. And you’d make it personal for them. Carry that over to your online parties too.
Want to learn more about monetization for beginners? Grab my free e-book, 20 Ways to Monetize Your Social Strategy, here. Want to connect with fellow small business owners and build your social media empire together? Check out my free group on Facebook: Social Boss Collective.