The 10 Commandments of Social Media for Small Business Owners

In the Bible it is recorded that Moses received the 10 Commandments from God. These were to be the foundational laws with which the people of Israel were to live by when they entered the Promised Land. You can read the account in the book of Exodus that but if reading historical narratives isn’t your thing, then as always there is the majestic cinematic masterpiece by Cecil B. Demille.

If you choose the cinematic option, a word of warning, stock up on the popcorn, chips, coke and choc tops because it is a 4 hour epic. Oh, and don’t forget to factor in at least one toilet intermission.

For us small business owners and entrepreneurs who have already entered into the social media “Promised Land” but feel it’s more like a wilderness than a “land flowing with milk and honey” here are the 10 Commandments to abide by to maximise your return on investment.

Photo by Virpeen Syp on Unsplash

1. Thou Shalt Listen
Like all great relationships, success with social media more listening and less talking. Take time to read and respond with more questions to your target audience’s online comments and discussions. When you find out what is important to them, only then can you create content that adds value to their lives which they will love to share.

2. Thou Shalt Focus
A laser-focused social media strategy that builds a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that tries to be all things to all people. Be a master of one platform rather than a jack of all.

3. Thou Shall Pursue Quality
Quality will always trump quantity. It’s better to have 100 engaged followers who read, comment, like and more importantly share your content with their connections than to have 10,000 who are silent.

4. Be Patient
Building loyalty and credibility in Social media doesn’t happen overnight. You may be one of the rare businesses that hit a trend while it’s “trending” but it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul which means months and months of content building and marketing with little to show for it.

5. Follow The Way of Compounding
As mentioned in Commandment 4, even though you publish awesome, unique and quality content building your followers my take time. But as they begin to share it with their own social connections on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and create backlinks on their blogs, one person sharing to 400+ friends has a compounding effect as one or two of those friends end up sharing to their 400+ friends and so on.

This sharing and discussing of your content opens entry points for search engines like Google and Bing to find it in keyword searches. Each new entry point has the potential to grow to hundreds or thousands keyword searches for people to find you online.

6. Blessed Are The Value Adders
If you spend all your time on social directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. The twist to social media and blogging for the small business is that you must add value to the conversation. Focus less on your product or service and conversions and more on creating amazing content. Identify a problem or question your potential customer has and demonstrate how a product or service (… preferably yours) can address their concerns.

This sets the foundation for the next commandment.

7. By Influencers Shall You Be Known
Take the time to connect and build relationships with those people have 100K-250K followers who are engaged.

If you get on their radar as an authoritative source of useful information and valuable content, they are likely to share your content with their own followers, which could potentially put you and your business not only in front of a new audience but in that powerful selling catalyst, “word-of-mouth.”

8. Speak When You’re Spoken To
You wouldn’t ignore someone who walked up to you and said “Excuse me…” or a telephone call from a customer inquiring of your product, so why would you ignore them online. Social media is a tool to build relationships and one of the most important parts of social media marketing success is building credibility and loyalty and the way to do this is to always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.

9. Be Seen and Heard
Don’t post your content and then disappear. Be responsive to your audience. That means you need to consistently publish content and even more importantly participate in conversations. Followers online can be capricious and they won’t hesitate to jump to another fan page you if you disappear for weeks or months.

10. Do Unto Others As You Have Done To You
You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. Set aside portion of your time on social media sharing and talking about content published by others and don’t be afraid to give a shout out to other products in your niche that are of quality.


Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

These 10 laws will help you build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and, hopefully, your bottom line.

by TuiSiong Hie

Digital Media Strategist & Founder at Cross+word
About the author



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