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The dos and don'ts of using social media for building your business

Social media has changed the business landscape for marketing, advertising, PR, and so much more. Learning the do's and don'ts of using social media for building your business can help you gain a following, and make an impact through the various social media channels.

Because your online personality is going to greatly impact your brand, and be part of how you interact with customers and potential customers online, it is important to create an online personality you can be proud of. You want it to be transparent. If it is cloudy, you will lose customers who are afraid of spammers, hackers, and those will ill intent. It should be authentic. This is a long term, in fact, permanent strategy, you do not want to have to keep up some kind of lie. Be yourself, people will appreciate it more, and be more drawn to it. Lastly, be human. You can be a person representing a company, but be a person.

It is a good idea to use your social media as a tool for building a community. You want to try and connect with people, start a dialogue, keep a conversation going, and network with people. This will connect them with your business, and help you build on opportunities that may not have come to you otherwise. It is less about advertising, and more about relationships.

Be sure to post relevant and interesting content, and don't forget to post pictures. People want stuff to look at, and they won't take a profile without a picture seriously. When you post, make sure it is always information that will help you meet your social media campaign objectives. The posts you leave become a legacy of who you are, and they create an archive of information about you. What do you want that information to say?

Be consistent in content so that your audience can count on you. It is always a good idea to decide what personality and topics of interest you want to bring forward. For example, you want to connect with people, position yourself for what you want to be. If you want to be a business expert, post like you are one. Do not post commentary on the movie you saw, or live news that is unrelated to your industry. The idea is to be consistent so that the people who connect with you based on your posts will continue to connect with you.

Use search functions to see what people are talking about, what the industry trends are and more. You want to eavesdrop on conversations as well as start your own. This way you can stay up to date on what interests those around you. Look at the posts and comments in various networks, groups, and fan pages, and make sure you are keeping yourself relevant.

Measure, use metrics, track your success so that when you do something right, you know it and continue to do things right.

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