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Get Social or Go Home

Embracing social media isn’t natural for every business owner. Still, having a social presence has so much proven value that a slew of accounts are being set up every day. No one wants to miss out on the action. The problem is, many accounts either stagnate or never really get going in the first place. That’s what happens when you get drawn in by the hype, but have either no time or no idea what to do with it after the fact. It’s time to be responsible with your social presence, or just close those accounts.

Facebook
Even if you are a regular user of Facebook as an individual, running an effective business fan page is a whole different ballgame. You have to be personable, without being personal. You have to have something important to say, but not just push your products. It’s an ongoing conversation for which you have to be present on a regular basis.

If you have great shareable content, then Facebook is a fantastic medium for your business. Realize, however, that people will see and even like or share your posts without ever having read the attached story. The same is true for websites. Just because visitors got there, you can’t assume that they actually read anything on the page. The key is to engage the readers with every word you take the time to write. Drawing people in is not an easy task. But, if you want Facebook to work, that is what has to be done. And, on the flipside, you need to read, like, share and comment on what others post as well. It’s a two-way street.

If you don’t fully embrace Facebook, the outcome of your efforts will be disappointing. And remember, a poorly maintained page sends a very strong message about your business. It’s okay not to be on Facebook. Not every business is the right fit. If you do it, however, do it well.

For more detailed Facebook tips, read our related post 6 Things You Need to Know About Facebook.

Twitter
Twitter has an even larger number of idle accounts than Facebook. According to Twopcharts, 44 percent of Twitter accounts have never sent a single tweet! We can only assume that a good portion of those accounts are business owners who wanted Twitter in the mix, but failed to follow through. I would be willing to bet, however, that many of those inactive accounts are linked to business websites via the cute little Twitter icon that makes then look more modern.

In social media, like life, looks aren’t everything. You may make a good first impression, but as soon as someone clicks on the icon and lands on a blank page, well, the date is over. Twitter is a tool to spread news and insights at a fast pace. You will be hard-pressed to have followers when there is nothing being said on a regular basis. And, by the way, if you want followers, you have to be one as well. Take an active tweet-oriented interest in those you want to build business relationships with.

Wrapping Up
The point here is that you have to think of social media as human interaction, because it is. In order the build relationships of substance, you have to give of your time, your expertise, and yourself. There is no shame in not being on social media; although, it is an increasingly important part of your online presence, and even has SEO value. It is just one more way to prove your relevance in your field…if you take your social responsibility seriously.