3 Simple Social Media Marketing Rules

Updated: November 15, 2010

1) Whatever platform you use - consistency is key.

People follow your business because they generally want to know what's new with your business and to see what (if any) special offers you have.

If you only post sporadically, you're not giving anyone any real reason to follow you, and the ones that do follow you might lose interest and not check-in as often as you would like.

The key is to keep up with whatever you use by posting at least a couple of times a week. Posting special promotions, answering questions, and addressing concerns are great things to do that will keep your audience interested.

Posting regularly also helps attract new followers and can also give your website an SEO boost. This is especially important now that Google and others are looking at "social media buzz" as one of its factors when determining page rank .

It's also important to strike a balance with your consistency. Posting every five minutes is as good as spam to your followers no matter how important you think the message is. Post every five months and it's not even worth getting into social media at the moment if you can only spare that amount of time.

2) Don't shy away from criticism

People don't like bad news or being told that they suck.

However, these comments from your followers can actually help your bottom line depending on how you respond to them.

If you delete negative comments from your Facebook/Twitter page or worse, block followers from posting on your wall, it can tell your followers that you really don't care, and/or that you are trying to hide from them (and their criticism).

No company is perfect. But the best ones acknowledge the criticism and use it to improve their services and products. If you attack the criticism head on, in a public setting, you can really win brownie points with customers and future customers who will see the initial complaint and how you handled it (especially if you handled it in a positive way).

You will always have people who think you're horrible no matter what, however, I believe that if you react quickly and address negativity; it will only help your reputation in the long run.

3) Use Social Media to create dialog, not just push your message.

Some of the best interaction and traffic on social media sites comes from involving followers in a discussion. Users will keep coming back if they feel that they are part of the business and if the business appreciates and/or seeks out their opinion.

Questions of the week, topic forums, and jumping in on a discussion that followers may start are great ways to increase your fans interest and attract new friends/followers.

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