Social Media for Business?

You may have dabbled in social media on a personal level – who can resist finding old friends on Facebook? Is it time you now look at social media as a way to build your business?

The technology is fairly easy to use and many tools are free, which has led to its explosion. Facebook, for instance, was founded in 2004 and now has more than than 750 million active users.

Social media includes a wide range of other tools, including Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and more. Basically, social media is any online tool that helps you establish a community and interact. Many companies have seen tremendous growth with social media, while others have made headlines with missteps.

Follow these three rules to make sure your business does it right:

Rule number 1: Have a plan.

Set goals for what you hope to achieve. Do you need to build awareness about new products or existing services? Are you expanding and need to reach new customers? Do you need to differentiate yourself from the competition? Knowing what you hope to achieve can help drive which tools you use and how you use them.

A word of warning: Don’t put your entire marketing budget into social media and abandon offline marketing. Keep those traditional tactics in place, too which have already brought you success.

Rule number 2: Don’t focus only on selling. Instead, have a conversation.

You may be communicating digitally, but craft your social media posts as if you are talking one-on-one. You would never give sales pitch after sales pitch to a friend. Don’t do it online, either. That doesn’t mean you can’t let your friend know about a great deal or a new product. It does mean that you should allow for your online friends to communicate back with you. For instance, ask a question or seek their opinion.

In fact, experts advise that 80 percent of your social media messages should be about information or conversation, with 20 percent of the messages being product or service focused.

Rule number 3: Safeguard your reputation.

You’ve carefully built up your reputation, so be sure to safeguard it with your online presence. Set rules for yourself and your employees about online etiquette. Be sure your posts are about providing value or adding to the conversation, not about chatter.

Want to learn more? VistaComm can answer questions and talk through how we can help you launch – and maintain – a successful social media program. Talk to us at 866.752-7707 or