You’d think that learning the social media dos and don’ts would be easier.
In fact, people have probably told you “it’s so easy, you just post on Facebook!”
Wroooooonnnnggggg. (I really hate when people make “it’s so easy” types of claims. It’s really not.)
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, or see your overall engagement drop because your friends have unfollowed you.
- Mass invite people to private Facebook groups. People want control over their own newsfeeds, and suddenly your content is popping up in their newsfeed.
- 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, right?
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, or to socially reconnect. 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.
Owning your own business doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own! Come hang out with me over in my free Facebook group: Social Marketing for Direct Sales, with Brenda Ster.