Social Media sites offer a two-way communication platform for smaller businesses to tap user conversations. It is important to establish a level of rapport within the community. Keep your dialogue simple, honest and straightforward. Once you know that others can easily find out who you are connected to, and to what extent, you obviously need to be a bit more discreet in your Social Media interactions.
There are services like Rapleaf that quietly conduct social media monitoring. The San Francisco-based firm, for instance, tracks the Web to compile specific status updates, the websites you link to, the comments posted by you etc. The monitoring firm will gather all the relevant data and convert it into a ‘social graph’. The graph reveals your online behavior pattern.
Some prospective vendors or partners may use this piece of information to dig deep into your social networks. On the other hand, creating genuine interest among the people about a product is an important factor in deployment of social networks to bring in sales. This is how you can achieve your goal:
Provide business insight: Offer insight about your business domain; post informative blogs. Ultimately, ensure that you provide efficient services and quality products! If you can do this on a consistent basis, your online presence will translate into greater brand awareness.
Let the conversations chart their own course: Never make the mistake of thinking that you can hold sway over conversations there. You shouldn’t alienate your followers and even your opponents.
Engagement is vital: It’s the users who set the rules of conversation and engagement on the social media platforms. Those violating ‘the will of the majority’ will face inevitable consequences. In other words, engagement is vital to success on networking sites in the form of enhanced loyalty and, of course, increased sales.
Offer customer service: Tweets and user-friendly information on popular social networking sites besides regularly updated blogs can be used as an effective tool to offer customer service. It’s an assured means of generating sales (taking leads by tracking relevant tweets, which are apparently scouting for a service or product) or directly project a brand.
The omnipresent Social Media network makes it easy to spread around any negative word. Treat community members politely or else you will end up paying a heavy price.Last but not the least, as a business person you must be aware of the fact that your online reputation holds the key to winning the trust of your prospective clients and customers on social media. They will appreciate knowing that the reviews are credible assessments not paid copy.