By A.K. Fielding
As a home-based business, your online presence is critical to your success. With a plethora of social media sites available, which one should you use to serve your business?
Should you blog or should you use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other popular site to promote your business?
As important as it is to figure out which social media site(s) works best for you, more important is the content you share on these sites. Remember the golden rule: if you are too embarrassed to share it with someone in person, then you should refrain from sharing it with the rest of the world online.
What Not to Share
You may think sharing a crude joke or reposting a photo with abusive language is no big deal, but consider: Is that the image you want to present to a prospective buyer?
Do your followers have to know how many stops you made to the public restroom on your way home?
Do you think it will serve your business well to post revealing photos of yourself?
If you think all this should be an obvious “no,” you would be surprised to find out how many business owners have done just that. If you insist on sharing personal information online, try to keep it limited to your personal social media accounts.
Keep from posting unrelated content on your social media accounts. If you are a baker, do not share photos of beef barbecue, unless of course you have a new technique on making a beef barbecue cake of some sort. I use multiple social networks, but not all, to promote my brand and my business.
Take a look at my page on Pinterest. I have posted my art, illustrations, articles, and books. I also post inspirational quotes, artists I admire, and info about people from history.
On my Facebook page, you will find my art, work in progress, illustrations, and information on history-related events.
Even my blog features activities related to just my brand or business. Keeping away from posting information that is irrelevant to my business helps me to keep my social media networks streamlined and focused.
What to Share
Try posting information that your followers may find useful. Photos, videos, news about your work presented in a professional way are all good bets. You can share something that is personal, but make sure it is related to the idea you are promoting.
For example, if you sell homemade soaps, posting your products—along with photos of materials used in making the soap or how-to videos about the method used to make the soap—would be a winner. Your followers will appreciate such content. Furthermore, it will make you stand out as an expert in your field and help highlight the benefits of using your services to prospective buyers, something you want as a business.
Remember, whatever you post on the Internet remains there forever.
Sure, have fun, but approach social media with caution. What may seem a good idea today, may not be the case tomorrow. It is almost impossible to retract your posts once they are online.
Your online presence as a business must always reflect professionalism. One ignorant remark or photo could be the death of all your hard work. Rules of proper etiquette for a business are the same online as off so be strategic with your posts.
Always remember to think, plan, and then act.
AK Fielding is an historian, artist, writer, illustrator, and home-school educator. Her articles on American history have appeared in the Journal of the American Revolution, Illinois Heritage Magazine, Hoosier Heritage Magazine, new media publications, and her Blog. Her art has appeared in galleries and national and international publications. For more information about her art and books on American history, please visit: http://trehanstreasures.com/.