It seems as though every business today whether big or small has a page on various social media pages. Social media is an amazing, free (mostly) tool for small businesses to advertise their business, inform their customers and create overall brand awareness for their products and/or services.

So what’s the big issue?

The issue with most small business and their pages on social media is that they are campaigning their business in an extremely ineffective manner. I’m sure most of you can remember the days before DVR where you actually couldn’t fast forward through commercials. Some people would change the channel, some would get up to get a snack, a few might mute the tv until the commercials subside and if you were really feeling annoyed you might even turn off the tv completely and do something else entirely.

The point is that human nature is to avoid your unsolicited advertisements AT ALL COSTS! Think of the internet as the real world and social media is the equivalent of a social gathering such as a party. Where advertisers get it wrong is that their interactions on social media are the equivalent of going up to everyone at a party and bothering them with phrases such as “VISIT OUR WEBSITE” or “BUY OUR PRODUCT!” This is entirely the wrong approach and is highly unaccepted by today’s masses.

The days of spending tons of money on advertisements that interrupt your target market are long gone. People don’t listen to commercials anymore, many people have ad blockers on their internet browsers and bothering your fans on social media with intrusive advertisement centric messages is a sure fire way to ensure that you will be “unliked” and “unfollowed.”

So what’s the right way to go about social media?

Rule number 1 for having a successful small business social media campaign is to engage your customers. DO NOT just hurl your unwarranted messages AT them. There needs to be an effective ratio between engaging content (articles, pictures, videos), company written content about your industry to inform your consumers and finally a small portion of your total social media posts can be dedicated to advertisements.

To clarify on the part about engaging your customers, as a business you need to spark conversation between you and your customers instead of having a one way conversation with them. Post interesting content that is sure to be well received. Respond to comments and answer questions as they arise. Also if your business has a blog make sure to post informational articles that clarify questions people may have as well as inform your audience. The more useful information you give your audience the more they will trust you as an authority in your field and be way more willing to purchase your products and/or services in the future.

The publishing of useful articles on your website and posting them to your social media pages will not only solidify you as an authority in your chosen field of business but will also benefit you in terms of SEO (search engine optimization) but that’s a totally different article entirely!