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May 20, 2010 / Rebecca Foss

Social Media Tip: Be Real and Be a Listener. Be a Real Listener.

Large and small businesses alike are jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to social media.  When it comes to establishing accounts for your company, one of the most important things to remember is that people will interact with your company if it is genuine and engaging.  People aren’t too keen on being “sold to” via social networking sites.  If someone likes a company or brand, but all they get is status updates or “tweets” that push a product or tell them to buy, buy, buy, they will likely tune out or hide the company from their feed.   So, once a Twitter handle is acquired and a Facebook page is established, what’s next?

First, figure out what your goal is.  What is it about your brand or business that people like?  Why do people buy your product or service?  Once you’ve determined this, you can join the conversation.  For example, if you sell running shoes, seek out conversations about running.  If you are an accounting firm, seek out conversations about taxes.  Become the authority on the subject by providing information or tips.  Or, if your company is entertaining in some way, entertain your contingent through a real dialogue.

On Twitter, you can do simple searches by going to search.twitter.com to find people that are already talking about your company’s specialty– then jump right in.  On Facebook, ask questions in your status updates to encourage people to engage with your company or brand.  Keep an eye on the responses and continue to respond back.

The bottom line is, people want to know they are following you on Twitter or “Liking” your Facebook page because they are getting something out of it.  This could be unique information provided to them from your company, or engaging and entertaining conversation.  Either way, engagement is critical to success on these channels.

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