HAVE A PLAN
As professionals in the public relations field we live and breathe by plans. Social media needs to have a plan too. Just putting up a business Facebook page or creating a Twitter account isn't enough. Put together a plan to include:
I advise developing a content plan - a spreadsheet that lists all the social networks you're on, the topics or things to be shared and the dates that information needs to be shared on and which channel. This will be your guide and an easy way to make sure you have content regularly and you maintain a quality ratio of content (promotional vs. value added).
FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS
What makes someone a friend or fan of your business in real life? A common ground or interest, need, etc. With social media for someone to 1) like your page and then go a step further to 2) maintain a relationship and if you're lucky, 3) engage with your company you must have a RELATIONSHIP with them. You have to establish a common ground and/or a pain point which you can then resolve. If I liked a business page, but all they did was spam me with sales info or product information, I'd unlike them and leave. You have to give your audience something worth coming back for.
Example: If every time I see my friend I tell her about my business, my current sale, my services, etc. and never share any other (useful) information OR ask about her, eventually she's going to stop seeing me. It's like I'm constantly offering commercials and it's all about ME. People have Tivo and DVRs for a reason. Businesses are terrible about this. Go visit a few small to medium sized business pages and see what they're posting. We have to engage like people. That's what other people connect with!
Below I provide some tips for using social media effectively for business. These are just things to keep in mind and help balance the content you/your company puts out.
Social media can be powerful if used correctly. Take these tips to heart, start practicing and go succeed!