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Maintaining social media presence takes hard work

October 08, 2012

Why having a Facebook or Twitter page with no activity might actually do you and your company more harm than good…

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Remember the old saying, “the lights on but no one’s home?”

That is exactly how you can describe the Facebook page, Twitter account, or Web page of some new (and old) businesses. There was an attempt to have an online presence, but then the presence becomes more of a shell as the business realizes how much work it takes to maintain that presence.

Social media marketing for most businesses is the right thing to do. But, it is not something that should be undertaken halfheartedly. Creating an online presence in the social media environment and not actively updating the site is akin to going to a dance and standing off to the side while watching everyone else dance.

Brick Marketing recently posted an online article, “5 Steps for Social Media Success.” They correctly point out that many companies rush to create that online presence without having a real plan. Their five steps for social media marketing are relevant to small and large businesses.

First, have a strategy or plan. A Facebook page or a Twitter account may not be the right forum for your business, so do research. You may actually benefit more from a video based media such as YouTube.

The second point Brick Marketing makes is to post information that is “share-worthy.” This information should be well crafted and provide concise relevant information. Avoid the posts that inform followers of your need to redo your shopping list or other personal items. Remember, this is your business site, so keep it business related.

Their third suggestion is to keep it going. This is where the real effort is required. It can be exciting to start something new like a Facebook page or a Twitter account. It can be fun posting, initially. It can become work to keep posting fresh and relevant material.

The thing to remember is you will be getting many more “window shoppers” than you think. If you haven’t posted anything in several months you begin to resemble that dress shop that still has last spring’s fashions in their store front window — and it is now January.

The fourth step is to be active in your community (through your social media site). Here, you can share content from leaders within your industry. You can post about local community events and promote charity events through your site. This becomes a networking forum that can lead to new business leads.

Brick Marketing’s final step toward social media success is to engage. More specifically, engage your audience (customers). Encourage your customers and audience to respond to you and to communicate with you. Be sure to respond back to them when they do communicate their thoughts. This will show a level of care for your customers, clients, and audience that would be otherwise difficult to portray.

Social media marketing is something that is easy, inexpensive and offers the opportunity for increased profits. It is also something that if done incorrectly can be a waste of time and money which, leads to decreased profits. The advisers at the SBDC can assist you making your social media marketing successful.

“Business Tips” was written by James Leavelle, business development specialist of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact him

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