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Social Media Etiquette for Business Owners: 6 Do’s & Don’ts

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Can you imagine your life, utterly devoid of social media? 

If you are a millennial or Gen Z, the chances are that you can’t. After all, with the rise of platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, the masses have found a new way to connect.

Social media isn’t just famous for personal use. Instead, owing to its broad reach, many businesses are creating strategies solely for their social media presence. After all, it is a great and cost-effective way to speak to your target audience.

What do the numbers say?

Let’s put it all to perspective using a few numbers. According to HootSuite, there are approximately 8 billion people in the world. And out of them, 4.5 billion people are online, while 3.7 billion are active on social media.

As per the Digital Information World, an average user spends 142 minutes daily on social media platforms! And every user has at least seven accounts. This proves one thing for sure- a significant chunk of consumers are online.

Regardless of which business you are in, you will find your target audience online. You can’t let go of the opportunity to speak to them via social media.

However, you must do so appropriately. It is essential to follow social media etiquettes when reaching consumers through the platform.

The Do’s of Social Media

Here are some things you must do on social media.

1. Be grammatically correct

Users might not run their statuses and posts past grammatical checks whenever they post online. However, this doesn’t mean that you can also be as care-free as them. Remember, you are a brand, and your social media account is just one of the many ways to get your brand message across.

Make sure you come off as sophisticated and authentic. The first step to ensuring this is using proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Even when you are replying to comments, don’t overuse caps lock or disregard the rules of grammar.

You need to look professional online. So, read every marketing communication you send across carefully. This includes both posts and comments.

2. Use the Story Feature

Now, a wide variety of social media platforms have the Story feature in them. This includes Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. 

Many brands tend to stay away from the function, dubbing it to be a tad too unprofessional.

This is a misconception. Stories tend to be highly engaging. There is much more chance of people viewing your five-second story than reading a post to the tee. So, make sure to use this feature to your advantage.

What can you post in your story? You can share news about discounts or recent collections. You can also use the feature creatively. For instance, a leather jacket online store can post stories about how the different jackets are made or how to carry the leather jackets stylishly.

Put your creative brain to work and come up with the perfect content to share via Stories.

3.  Be Consistent

One of the first things taught in brand management classes is the need to have a consistent brand image. Your communications are the stepping stone to creating this consistency.

Generally, people tend to think that consistency only comes through the tone of voice and the content. However, in the world of social media, it also comes in the form of the frequency of posting. 

The more inconsistent and infrequent you are with your social media posts, the more you will lose out on your target audience.

According to a study conducted by Facebook, brands tend to lose connection with their target audience if they post merely once a week or more than three times a day. Remember, you can’t spam your customers, nor can you let them forget you.

You need to find a balance between the two. Post original and witty content three days a week and at most twice a day.

The Don’ts of Social Media

Here are three things you must avoid doing on social media at all costs!

1. Be a spammer

There is nothing worse than annoying your target audience. And there is nothing easier to do than annoying them!

In an attempt to sound friendly, don’t spam your audience. It is never a good idea to continually post, retweet, comment, and like. If you do so, you will watch as your engagement rates drop significantly. People will start unfollowing you. After all, no one wants a brand to be the only thing they see on their social media accounts!

2. Complain about negative customer experiences

Just like there are bad brands that garner a lot of negative reviews online, there can also be bad customers. However, in this case, a brand cannot go online and share their negative experience with the said customer.

One of the essential social media etiquettes for business owners is the need to take the high road when things don’t go to plan. Whenever a customer interaction turns sour or a transaction does not follow through, never bad mouth your customers online.

Don’t even post sarcastic comments about them. This is because potential customers might look at your interactions with your audience and form a negative opinion about you.

You don’t want to sound like a bully or a whiner online!

3. Overdo hashtags

Hashtags are a great solution. They allow users to view content about a given topic all at once. As a business owner, it lets you categorize your content and link it to a more important topic.

But, there is a thing such as overdoing hashtags. Some brands are even guilty of it! Some people tend to convert every word of their post into a hashtag. Others make the entire sentence into one prominent, incoherent, hashtag!

Both of these approaches tend to look very unprofessional and highly annoying. It also means that the tags don’t perform a function, unlike the initial purpose of the concept!

Partying thoughts

Social media is a powerful tool if you use it the right way. Where can you address such a massive chunk of your target group, all at once? 

Be careful about social media etiquette and watch as your online presence, and hence your business revenue increases.

Audrey Throne has an ongoing affair with the words that capture readers’ attention. Her passion for writing dates back to her pre-blogging days. She loves to share her thoughts related to business, technology, health and fashion. To date, she has given life to multiple worth-a-second-read pieces. Audrey is a fitness freak and loves to travel. When she isn’t writing, she takes her kayak and sails to discover more ecru and earthy tones

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5 Steps to Conquering Your Fear of Making YouTube Videos

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It’s a scary thought, right? Putting yourself out there for the entire world to watch and judge can be downright frightening. In fact, fear is the number one reason people state for not doing YouTube videos.

Trust me, I can relate.

I was the shy kid in school that hated getting up in front of people. Even though I was pretty comfortable clowning around on camera with family and friends, I never thought I’d be putting myself on YouTube for a bunch of strangers to see.

Yikes!

It took me a year before I got up enough nerve to record my first video.  But I quickly learned that the more videos I created, the easier it became.

So here are some tips to ease your fear of making YouTube videos

Avoid Using a Script

You might think placing a script in front of you is going to ease your fears, but here’s the deal…

If you read from a piece of paper word for word, it might come across very robotic and unnatural. If you need notes, just create an outline with the high-level points and place it right below or alongside the camera.

You can glance at the topics and use those as talking points throughout the video.

Trust yourself. If you know your material, you won’t have any problem expanding on your main points.

Your Editor is Your Best Friend

I remember when I first started doing videos, I didn’t know much about editing. So I would keep recording takes until the videos were almost perfect.

For some videos, that would mean starting over 7 or 8 times.  I was creating so much extra work for myself.

You don’t have to be perfect with your takes. Learn to use your editor so you can cut out the ummms, errrrs and awkward pauses.

No matter what software you use, there’s a YouTube tutorial out there with instructions for how to edit video.

Do a Test Run

Some people suggest rehearsing in the mirror. While that is certainly one way to practice, it’s better to rehearse in the actual setting you are going to use for your final take.

Record yourself a few times and watch it back. Jot down two or three things you want to improve upon and do another test run.

Keep doing them until you are more comfortable. I guarantee you’ll get better with every take.

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

An editor is great for removing bigger mistakes that interrupt flow or reveal incorrect facts, but you don’t have to get rid of every flaw.

Small imperfections here and there make the video seem more natural. Remember, no one expects your video to be perfectly polished.

You can even have fun with your mistakes from time to time. Don’t take yourself too seriously. People will appreciate that, and it makes the presentation more enjoyable.

Be Conversational

People often say to me, “I feel like you are sitting in my living room talking to me.”

Not only does being conversational make your audience feel at ease, but it will also help you relax as the presenter. Just pretend you are talking to a friend or family member.

Trying to be extra polished can actually make you more nervous and seem uptight. Relax and remember tip #4. 

We Are Our Worst Critics

I remember helping a friend with her videos, and she pointed out all these things she hated about her presentation.

What’s funny is I didn’t notice a single one of them until she brought them to my attention. Then, of course, I couldn’t help but notice after that.

We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves, so the playing field is pretty even there. Also, most people won’t even notice or care about the things that bother you. At the end of the day, if you are giving them what they want, they’ll be happy.

Sure, you may encounter some nasty trolls who try to make your life miserable, but they have delete and block buttons for that.  Plus, the YouTube commenting system is very anti-troll friendly.

Just remember, once you conquer that fear, the benefits of creating video outweigh the negatives by far.  So go for it!

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5 Foolproof Ways To Generate Leads Through Social Media

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Social media marketing has become a pinnacle of all types of marketing campaigns. 

Many businesses, big or small, use social media to consistently boost their brand’s visibility and awareness, propelling customer engagements. 

It can be a powerful marketing tool for developing leads, a goldmine rather. However, the only problems, most businesses don’t leverage social media platforms optimally to generate new leads. 

If you’re among those businesses, read on to know what you can do differently to get the results you desire. 

5 foolproof strategies you can implement to generate more leads through social media 

Select the right platform 

Today, if your brand is not visible on your target audience’s timeline, you can be sure that your competitor is.

It is vital to have a powerful social media presence in today’s corporate stratosphere. However, it is also true that we see an increasing number of social media networks that people use. So, it is unwise to engage with your customers using multiple platforms. 

Apart from the fact that you are going to be wasting time, you won’t be getting the leads you hoped for. So, the best thing to do here is using a social media scheduler to make the most out of your marketing strategies on popular social networks such as Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. 

You will need to narrow down all the viable options and focus on your efforts on social channels that can help get you the results you want. That also depends on the type of product or service you are offering. 

Content will always be king 

In the era of social media, there are plenty of people that think blogging has gone out of fashion – that it is no longer relevant. And because of the speed and simplicity of using social marketing tools, most have abandoned blogging and just focus on using social media ads to generate more leads. 

This is unwise!

As per studies, it was identified that businesses that invest in blog content are able to make 67% more leads than the companies that don’t. Despite the demand and popularity of social networking platforms, it is hard to deny the increasing demand for quality content. 

Diversity is what is going to help you generate leads. Sure, all the photos and videos that you post on your social media will help with social media engagement, but never stick to doing one thing. 

Mix things up, throw in quality, yet relevant blog or two to spice up your engagement. You can establish yourself as an authority on the type of service or brand you are marketing. And once your fans and followers see you as the industry expert in your niche, you can be sure more leads will flock to you!

Market gated content 

Gated content is an excellent way of gaining more leads. You can use gated content to request users to fill out short forms in return for content. 

You may have come across gated content on social media every now and then, where you have to like the page or fill out a form to access the content or to avail of an offer.  

According to research, it was discovered that 80% of business-to-business products are gated. However, this will only work if you are offering valuable content (such as webinars, case studies, or ebooks) in exchange. 

Users must trust the source of the content; it should be valuable enough that they give you their email. But if you are a startup, then you aren’t visible to your target audience yet. So gated content is not going to work for you here. You are going to have first to develop a relationship with your prospects and gain their trust. Think of a blog!

Word of mouth campaign

In the digital stratosphere, customer referrals or word of mouth marketing has become a critical source of generating new leads. As a matter of fact, many people actively seek consistent and sure-shot recommendations from their friends and family. 

They are of the view that if their friends recommend them a product or service they trust, it must be great. How often have your peers or friends recommended that you try a lunch menu from a restaurant you have not heard of?  

Similarly, you must have also purchased a product just because a social influencer or a family member recommended it. And chances are you may have also shared your experience forward. 

Consumers today are smart and savvy. They don’t easily get enticed by brand advertisements; what they look for are good and bad reviews or feedback left by other customers. That is what drives them to make their buying decision. 

That is also why, as a business, you should always ask your customers to leave you honest feedback or review. Many would be happy to recommend your product or service to their group of friends or family. These are the people who are going to help you expand, gain momentum and popularity in a competitive market. 

Invest in giveaways and contests

Another great way of developing leads is to post social media giveaways and contests frequently. Apart from helping you generate leads, this is also going to help increase your brand’s visibility, awareness, and overall engagement. 

However, if you want this to work out the way you hope, you have to give your users what they want, something that appeals to them. 

You may have come across multiple giveaways saying how you could win the new iPhone or iPad if you participate in a contest. This is an excellent idea, but remember, be sure to run a giveaway that is related to your business. The point is to attract new prospects, not new entrants.  

Your ultimate goal is to generate leads and boost sales. That means you must offer a contest that focuses on your ideal audience. 

Bottom line

Generating new leads is not rocket science; you need to know what works for you. These are amongst the top tips you can implement to expedite your sales and propel your company into the future. 

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