The first things businesses and entrepreneurs do when they launch a business is to make social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are 50 million active small business pages on just Facebook and growing. Yours could be another one of these pages. But it doesn’t have to be if you follow my social media do’s and don’ts:

Social Media Do’s For Entrepreneurs

1. Be Consistent

Get your monthly planner and plan out your posts and tweets. You need to develop a posting schedule. Are you going to post twice a daily, daily, weekly or bi-weekly? If you post too much, you might annoy your followers but on the flip side, if you post too less you could be forgotten.

So, what’s the magic number?

Well, there’s none.

Your posting frequency depends on your business goals and your number of followers.  Also, posting on the right time also helps. Find out when your target market hits social media. Is it during lunch hours? Bed-time? Kid’s Nap Time? Schedule your posts at that time for maximum visibility.

2. Stand out

If you are on social media, chances are you aren’t there to get ignored. There are 2.34 billions of people on social media (in 2016). Imagine standing next to these 2.34 billion people. Probably the only people who will notice you would be your friends and family. Even the person next to you may not notice you. Get them to notice you.

How? It’s easy.

Say something. Even something controversial.

Or stand next to a celebrity. Even call them out like Chicken-nugget lover Carter Wilkerson.

But remember controversial doesn’t mean being irrelevant. Always remember your goal before posting something.

3. Build a relationship with your followers

I remember the first few months when I started posting on Instagram. I got a few likes here and there. Comments were rare to come by. And when they did, I rushed to reply. Now thinking back, I realize how beneficial that was. Those first few followers have stayed with me and frequently reply to my posts till date. They are what I call my loyal tribe. Build that loyal tribe from Day 1 and don’t forget them when you reach your 10k.

Tip from the pros: If your reply is Thanks for every comment, don’t bother replying. Acknowledge the comments with more than a few words. These people are reaching out to you for a dialogue, a debate, a conversation or maybe even to voice their views. Talk to them. Encourage them.  Comments on posts often become more popular than the posts.

4. Be Careful

Social Media could be your hen with golden eggs. But you have to take great care of it. Otherwise, you might end up regretting your moves, like some of the best brands, did. What enters the internet stays there. You can’t remove it. Even if you remove that embarrassing drunk or half-naked video, there is a great likelihood that someone already shared it, or worst downloaded it.

5. Monitor your work

Some of your tweets will likely get more likes and even retweets than others. Some may likely get ignored. Don’t let this slide past you. Learn from your past. View insights to check likes, impressions, and engagement. Compare it with your other tweets. If you can, create an excel file to compare tweet activity. Find a pattern on tweets with higher engagement. Repeat that. Repeat that often.

Social Media Dont’s For Entrepreneurs

1. Don’t be absent for long

There are 50 million active small business pages on Facebook. And growing each day. If you don’t post often, you will be forgotten. There is no denying the information overload of today’s society. Everyone has something to say and if you don’t say it, someone else will. Don’t die on your followers.

2. Don’t be insulting

It’s okay to be controversial. Everyone has an opinion on social media and they’re not afraid to say it. But as an entrepreneur, you have to be extra careful. Don’t insult a race, a religion or even an opinion. It’s not just morally wrong. But you could end up losing your hard-earned followers.

3. Don’t be too salesy

So I understand that you made a business page to sell stuff. But people come on social media to spend some time. They come to relax. Imagine going out to a movie and someone sitting next to you starts selling kitchen gadgets to you. No matter how useful the product, you’ll be annoyed. Learn the ethical way to sell on social media.

4. Don’t get lost

It’s easy to get swept up. You can say anything and people respond to you. It’s easy to lose focus. Especially when you have been posting for more than a year and you exhaust your ideas.  This is the time when you start deviating from your main topic. And then a few months down the lane, you stop being helpful to your followers. The golden rule here is to give your business 10 keywords. If the post is outside those keywords, then trash it.

5. Don’t expect results immediately

Every minute, 510,000 comments and 136,000 pictures are uploaded on just Facebook. With such a communication overload, it’s not surprising that your followers don’t come running to you even after months of continued social media presence. Hang in there. If you follow these social media do’s and don’ts, you will see a consistent increase in followers.

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