Does your business need a lesson in socializing?

test2Use these social media tips to maximize your professional potential online.

Who would have guessed that the same generation we were pestering for using social sharing sites would one day become the people we turn to for advice on how to use them? Trust me—you aren’t the only one who had trouble predicting the effect social media would have on business communication.

As a part of the generation most involved and knowledgeable about these sites, I am here to give you the information you need but haven’t mustered up the courage to ask your son or daughter.

And with that, our lesson on business-customer socialization begins.

What if I told you that your business was only a tweet, vine, instagram, status or blog post away from bringing in more customers, turning previous customers into loyal clients and making your already loyal clients even happier?

Would you believe me? Would you know how to get started—or are you still trying to figure out how the terms tweet and vine correlate with business success?

Social media sites like these are quickly becoming more of a marketing tool than a gossip feed. In fact, two-thirds of U.S. Internet users regularly use a social network. Multiple studies have shown that businesses now generate 80 percent of their leads online. So if you’re not ON, you NEED to be.

Even more interesting, U.S. Internet users spend three times as many minutes on blogs and social networks than on email.

Yet, many businesses are still spending a disproportionate amount of time sending information to people’s inboxes. The reality is that most of this information goes straight to junk mail or is skimmed and disregarded immediately by the reader.

I’m here to tell you that there is an easier, more interesting and more beneficial way to spend your time online: posting interactive updates on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, which will get far more attention and positive responses from customers.

Businesses are beginning to pick up on the current social media trend, but creating a page to keep up with the times is far different than developing a page with business goals in mind.

Most businesses do not have a clear understanding of the long-term benefits they could be reaping from an effective use of social media.

Here are just a few of the ways your business can get a boost from such social networking:

  • Create more website traffic.
  • Give your business a unique and personalized brand
  • Provide an effective outlet for customer feedback
  • Allow for engagement with customers and other businesses
  • Increase your search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Better visibility of products and promotions
  • Enable customers to share your name with friends

Social MediaAs my goals with Internet usage have shifted from personal to professional, I have learned the ins and outs of the social media arena.  I am now aware of the many purposes it serves and what users look for when exploring these sites. Throughout these years I have developed a list of what I consider to be the THREE most important things to consider when cultivating your social networks:

-Offer something unique: People will only visit and subscribe to your page if it will benefit them in a way they haven’t
been already.

-Quality over quantity: In order for people to stay interested and engaged, your content must be rich and not overwhelming.

-Listen and respond: Social media is meant to be just that—SOCIAL. Listen to what your fans are saying and join in on
the conversation.

Your customers want to feel heard, and as a business you want to listen.  What better way to hear what they have to say than on the sites they are already using?

If I haven’t convinced you that social media is the most effective way to foster this type of two-way communication, then go online and start looking for yourself.

If you have any questions or opinions on the subject I would love to hear them! Just leave a comment below and join the conversation that has business professionals across the world intrigued.

Social class is adjourned—thanks for listening.