The social networking phenomenon is one of the most powerful things to have touched the marketing world in the past decade. Instead of relying on traditional advertisements that poorly target the general public in an attempt to bring in new customers, social networking has allowed many companies to begin expanding their influence by connecting directly with customers and using loyal customers to spread the word to others. While this is no doubt a powerful tool for keeping your company at the forefront of your industry, it is important to keep your marketing techniques ethical. Use the following tips to make certain you are staying on the right side of social network marketing.
1. Develop an Honest Profile
When creating a profile on a social networking site like Facebook, it is important to build a professional and honest destination that consumers will enjoy visiting to learn more about your brand. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression, and this is your chance. Build an authentic, professional space that will not only demonstrate expertise but will also encourage consumers to connect with your company.
2. Don’t Turn Spammy
A lot of companies that join social networking sites, unfortunately, forget that they are joining a social community, much like those seen in the “real” world. If you expect to connect with consumers in a real way, you can’t try to force your products and services on them at every turn. Rather than working to gain a loyal following, spamming your followers with information is a good way to lose friends online and give your brand a bad name and reputation. Instead, publish quality information that will be interesting to friends and social acquaintances.
3. Follow the Rules of the Social Network
Companies like Facebook have changed their approach, cracking down on companies that attempt to create a profile for their company that masquerades as an individual. This is a great way to get your profile deleted, and perhaps permanently blocked from a social network. Prevent this from occurring by instead creating a page that visitors can frequent and “like” or connect to if they want.
4. Don’t Create “Fake” Content
One easy way to lose customers and followers is to begin sharing fraudulent information with them. Testimonials are a powerful tool that many companies have used to draw new traffic and customers to their websites. Unfortunately, this has led some companies to fabricate testimonies and post them to their social networking profile. Not only is this unethical, but if discovered by your followers, it could have devastating consequences for your company’s marketing plan. Using social networking to connect with potential customers is a great way for businesses to grow their sphere of influence online. When used in the right way, not only can this help to pull in new business, but it can also retain existing customers. Be sure to stay ethical when conducting your company’s business online, and you won’t compromise that success in the future.