The term “shameless self promotion” often precedes people’s social media posts when they’re, well, promoting their business or brand. Until it becomes part of your daily work routine, asking people to share your material or your product can feel intrusive. In today’s world, though, it’s important to get over this fear – and fast. If you can see social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin as integral tools rather than embarrassing inconveniences you will be pleasantly surprised and how quickly and efficiently you can expand your audience.
Before you run out and demand that all five hundred of your closest Twitter followers click your link, make sure you’re following these simple but important rules for engaging your audience. You wouldn’t scream at a flight attendant to bring you some water, right? Hopefully not. You would ask in a respectful way. Same goes for social media. A little politeness goes a long way.
Seems silly, but everyone has experienced the old miscommunication via text or email, right? One person may write something intended to be sarcastic and all in good fun, but what comes across is hostile and disrespectful. When you’re asking people to read or engage or spread the word, it’s easy to forget small things like “please” and “thank you.” You don’t need to be meek or ashamed about your posts, but asking nicely will entice people to engage much more often than just writing: ‘Here’s my new website share it.’ Make sense? Good. Now, onto the next…
Be Direct and Clear:
Between all the ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ make sure you’re not sending out some vague message to people. If you want people to share the information – ask them to share it. If you need them to vote or comment – make that clear. There’s no reason to be vague – it also shows that you know what you need and what your business needs to ask nicely for something very specific.
Don’t expect to create a Twitter account and have hundreds of thousands of followers overnight. These things take time. Set goals for yourself and your business when you start out and it will make the steady building of your online presence less stressful. Maybe in the first month you want X amount of followers – stick to that. Have patience and be realistic and it won’t seem so overwhelming.
Know When to Say When:
As indicated it’s definitely important to be direct and clear, but you also need to learn when to stop pushing. Maybe a weekly eblast for your business works, maybe for some people it’s daily. A few meaningful, productive Tweets a day beats sending out endless streams of repetitive information and clogging people’s feeds – that’s a quick way to lose followers. Pay attention to your audience, see who is responding and when, and learn to put out meaningful information- and when to take a break.
Make it Fun:
Building an audience really means engaging an audience. Depending on your brand or business, you can find fun ways to get people’s attention. Obviously if your business is a clown school your methods and the tone of your posts will be different than someone who has a medical device sales business, but there are ways to develop a consistent tone and voice in your posts so that people recognize your company right away.
Think Beyond Your Brand:
Of course you want to use social media to spread the word about your company, but remember to promote other companies as well if it makes sense for your brand. Social media is all about engaging, and if you are constantly and only talking about yourself people can get a little weary, and they’ll also have no incentive to promote your brand – where’s the fun in that? If you see that someone won an award or got some good press, reply to them, re-Tweet, post about their news, and more often than not they’ll do the same. You want to use social media to build relationships – think of it as a gigantic, limitless web or networking. It’s not just about you – you’re part of the bigger picture.