Using social media to get news business is not nearly as easy as one might initially imagine it to be. You might think that all it takes is setting up a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but it actually takes real work and real effort to make your business grow when working in the world of social networking. Here’s what you need to know.
Social Networks Don’t Work with Hard Sales
Forget what you know about hard sales and making squeeze pages. Doing any of those kinds of things on a social network will just make you look like spammer who will be quickly ignored. Instead, focus on making relationships and working with people, real people, on a one on one basis. Here’s how:
Answer Questions on Twitter
Sure, you’d love to sell your products to people on Twitter. However, I have learned first hand, that the old rule, about how if you follow people, most of them will follow you back doesn’t really work very well. People are tired of seeing spam in their Twitter feeds and as such, when someone follows them, they often ignore them.
However, if you look for hashtags related to your area of business and try to help people solve their problems (remember that tweets are all publicly available for anyone to see), you can build a relationship with people and help them to solve their problems, thus making them potential customers.
Join Groups on Facebook
Look for groups that relate to your particular niche on Facebook. There are millions of them, devoted to all kinds of things and often, you can join even if you weren’t specifically invited to them. Once you’re a member of these groups, check what people are saying. Talk to them, find out what they need and what they need help with. Then, offer free advice. By doing this, you are showing that you’re a real person, not a spammer or even worse, a bot which does it all automatically.
Join LinkedIn Groups as Well
LinkedIn is also a great place to do business and they have discussion groups in much the same way that Facebook does. You can offer similar services to people on LinkedIn, again as a person only, not as a business, which will get you labeled as a spammer. Put your business information on your business page. Speaking of that…
Create a Business Page on LinkedIn and Facebook
Both sites allow you to create business pages where people can “like” your company or service. Make sure to create such pages and to encourage people to visit them by including it in your advertising and on your blog (remember those Allstate commercials with “Mayhem?” They’re now featuring their Facebook page in an effort to get more people to sign up).
Be a Real Person
Finally, in all social networks, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, even Digg and Delicious, you need to be a real person. Show your face to people so they can see you’re a human being. Show some personality and allow people to connect with you as a friend. Then, they’ll naturally come to you for their business needs as well.