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In: Social Media

So here's the situation:

You're posting on Facebook every day, updating your Twitter regularly, and keeping your landing page up to date. You're consistent with your updates, but people just are not talking. It's kind of like elementary school all over again, being excluded from the rest of the kids and just wanting to fit in.

For some, social media can very much like a foreign country. (In fact, according to Social Media Revolution 2011, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world!) It comes with its own etiquette, norms, and language. If you did not grow up using the Internet, it's easy to feel like an outcast because, well, it's actually a different world.

Do not worry; we'll be your friends and sit at the lunch table with you. Here are some quick tips you may want to keep in mind when developing your digital social skills and reaching out to your target market.

Quick Social Media Tips:

  • Make sure your content is interesting, original, and personal . Post content that is relevant and would appeal to your brand's community.
  • Keep language simple and direct. Focus on nouns and verbs before adjectives and adverbs. On average, a 5th grade reading level or lower is much more effective. Simpler language on blogs is more likely to be re-shared.
  • Participate in dialogue. It's about engaging and listening. It's not about you; it's about the customer.
  • Show live authenticity. On Twitter, your tweet value is important. A few hundred valuable tweets are much better than thousands of useless ones. This includes automated responses, which can get you to lose your followers' attention easily. People like to see that there is a real person behind the computer. This typically makes people more receptive, making it more likely for them to engage.
  • Familiarize yourself with trends . Similar to real life, trends in the online world change just as fast, if not faster. The best way to learn this is by experiencing it on your own. Use your own personal social media account and study the culture, language, and behavior of your community.
  • Incorporate video and pictures. People can get tired of reading text all the time, and who does not like pictures and videos? According to a study done by Cisco , people are much more likely to remember videos and pictures over reading or hearing words.
  • Contests are a fun way to engage your community . Facebook provides a good platform for this.
  • On Facebook, enable peer-to-peer interactions. The best way to do this is to create a nurturing environment. Respond and engage positively.
  • Provide Cohesive Branding. Try and post relevant information that people expect from you based on your profile description. On Twitter, do not post about how awesome it was doing some illegal drugs, while your profile says that you are a pre-school teacher. Okay, okay … that was a bit extreme, but you get the point. This could cause you to lose followers!
  • On Twitter and Facebook, do not send only self-promoting updates. Self-promotion is useful, but you will ever lose the interest of your followers if this is all you tweet about. Social media gives us opportunities to engage with your consumers' community, this is what sets it apart from traditional forms of marketing, so why not use it? This means talking to your community, answering questions related to your product or service, or simply thanking someone for supporting your brand.

Always remember, social media is powerful, so you have to be careful. You have just as big of an impact to damage your brand as you do helping it!

Good luck!