Social Media Guidelines for Middle-Market Business Owners

It seems like every business in the U.S. today is diving head-long into social media. Experts tell us that social media is becoming the hottest way to market and advertise your company and its products/services. While this is definitely true, as with any new strategy implemented, you need to use it efficiently. I recently came across an excellent article that discussed some common social media mistakes and how to avoid them. I thought I would share a few with you.

Engage Your Followers

As we have discussed before, you need to make social media a true conversation—not, as many folks are doing today, a one-way communication vehicle. The easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to simply ask your Facebook friends or Twitter followers questions. Find out what they like so that you will be able to better craft your entire marketing and advertising program.

Include a Call to Action

call to actionOnce you have developed rapport with your audience in the social media realm, be sure to ask for their business. Too often business owners spend hours on their social media sites developing really interesting relationships but they forget that the entire purpose of developing those relationships is to ask for business. Don’t make that mistake. Like any advertising medium, you need a call to action in your social media conversations. Once you know your audience, hook them with an offer that is too good to pass up.

Stick With the Sites that Work

Be wary of getting sucked into the new social media site frenzy. It seems like every week some new social site is released and is touted as the latest and greatest way to reach your audience. Experts recommend that you find two to three sites that your core audience is using and stick with them. Of course, as with any new media, you will need to experiment. However, don’t lose precious time experimenting with the latest online fad when you already have social media sites that work for you.

Only PublishValuable Content

Be sure to remain consistent with your theme in all of your social media messaging. That means if you don’t have anything relevant to post on a given day, it is probably best to not post anything. Keep in mind that your customers are hit with a barrage of online messages every day, which is overwhelming in many cases. Don’t add to this clutter by making more of it. Make sure that what you post really has value and relevance to your market.

Keep Them Interested

Finally, experts also recommend that you avoid specifics about how much your product or service costs in your posts on social media. Nothing can turn your audience off faster than that. Rather, focus on what makes your product unique, what makes your company successful or your industry grow. Keeping your audience interested in these items will be key to your success.

Bottom Line When Engaging in Social Media

Use social media – but use it productively. Don’t spend your precious time, time that you have little to spare, on social media that doesn’t work. As we have discussed before, any task you are doing that is not generating revenue for your company, you need to delegate to others. The same is true for social media. Don’t waste your time on practices that don’t work.

We would love to hear your ideas on this topic. What social media sites are working for you? How much time do you personally spend on social media sites both for business and pleasure?

© 2011 Generational Equity, LLC All Rights Reserved

About Carl Doerksen

Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.


  1. Great tips Carl. Connecting online is the key. Keep it personal, make it conversational and share content and information that is valuable. Your advice to stick with sites that work is critical. We can't be everywhere. To me, one of the most important statistics to pay attention to in Google Analytics is your source of referral traffic. Twitter is consistently my number one source of referral traffic. Therefore, it gets the most attention and it continues to grow.

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