Monday Notes: 5 Suggestions Before Asking Someone to Follow Your Business on Social Media

A few months ago, a friend asked me to follow her on social media because she’s re-branding and doing new things. Of course, I obliged because she’s my friend, and you know that’s what some friends do in the 21st century…support to increase the person’s social media platform in the beginning stages.

Following her, however, has prompted a few pieces of advice about maintaining a social media presence as a business or nonprofit:

Know your social media handle. As soon as she asked, I clicked on my Twitter icon and proceeded to look for her.

Me: Is it this one? @friend19_74?

Her: Oh, let me see…nope, nope, not that one. Try @friend1974.

Me: Is this you?

Her: Oh, naw, naw. Try @1974friend.

Me: So, this looks like you because your picture is here.

Her: Yes. Yes. That’s the one.

twitter_marchKeep your social media current. Once we found the correct account, I scrolled through, as is customary for me to do with strangers. I want to see what the person has posted recently. I want to get a feel for what they typically share. You know. Do they troll people? Do they engage in Twitter arguments just for the sake of being seen? Do they say mean and inaccurate stuff about celebrities or news? When I scrolled through my friend’s page, her last retweet was from seven months prior. Even at the time of my writing this, her last tweet was two months ago. Why would I follow a business that tweets infrequently?

my baker cousin’s cupcakes

Make your social media relevant. My friend’s business is very niche. Let’s say for the sake of example that she sells cupcakes. When her IG photos pop up in my feed, there is information about cupcakes in the Bay area. If I don’t live there, or even on the West coast, then seeing cupcake info doesn’t interest me. But maybe if you post about those yummy cupcakes you just made, or link to a vegan cupcake recipe that I just have to try, or post a video of yourself making the cupcakes, then at the least, I’ll want to double-tap, and at the most, I’ll look for the website, friend or not.

Choose one site you really enjoy. Nowadays, people will have you to believe that business owners should be actively engaged on every social media site available. If you’re Nike or something, maybe. But, if you’re a small startup, I don’t think this is true, and I believe it’s caused people to burn both ends of the candle, so to speak. For example, a friend suggested I use Periscope when it first launched. I never did because I knew I didn’t have time to learn the inner workings of yet another site. But also, I was comfortable participating in what I was already doing.

Consider this, if you’re not really a photo/video person, then maybe you shouldn’t have an IG account. If you have more to say than will fit into 280 characters, then forgo Twitter. And if you despise FB so much, then let it go. Your social media presence will thrive when you engage in ways that you value, not because someone told you it’s a business requirement.

Do you all have any other advice for business owners who use social media?

50 thoughts on “Monday Notes: 5 Suggestions Before Asking Someone to Follow Your Business on Social Media

  1. Hi Kathy – Late to this party but one of my peeves on IG are people whose profile says they are things like: “womanist,” “bibliophile,” “writer,” etc. but 90% of their feed consists of random selfies posted to get you to admire their lipstick or their proximity to celebrities or taste in alcoholic beverages….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kathy, your post puts my mind at ease regarding social media! 😀 I’ve chosen to just be on two platforms but I’m often asked why am I not on this, or that etc. The simple reason is I don’t want to be! Instead I’m enjoying the engagement on the two I’m on and find them rewarding. Your terrific advice here makes a lot of sense and I hope others dare stay true to what suits them best and not be ‘manipulated’ to lots of sites!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Excellent advice…You have me rethinking about how I post on my business page. I haven’t posted anything new in months….Shame! Shame! I need to fix that.

    Great article, as usual, Kathy!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My greatest “niche” audience is people who are into nostalgia. Old Time Radio, Classic Cinema, so-called “Race” movies from the 30s and 40s, Blues and Jazz from way back when. It took a while to find them on Twitter where cinema and jazz are big. Facebook is very good for Nostalgia Old Time Radio groups, and historical photos. I think easier to navigate. So I use both. People “discover” me on both-and I get wonderful letters from them (the best part). The Twitterverse can be a little harsh but I find if I do not interact with the bs, I get pretty cool followers. Your advice is very sound, thanks for this article.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t own a business, so I have no advice to give. But I have to say that yours is excellent! Keeping up to date, knowing your audience and most of all, focusing only on the social media you really like and want to engage in. Makes sense to me!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great advice! I don’t have much advice because my business flopped! 😂😂 but I guess one suggestion is to be willing to be open a little and share some about yourself so potential customers get to know you and not just what you can sell them

    Liked by 2 people

  7. As my Artwork and Photography continue to grow and develop I tend to use LinkedIn and Instagram to promote both of my ventures. I’ve also found Twitter to be useful.

    Facebook is a lost cause. I just have an account to stay in contact with family and friends. Even though I want to connect with other artists and writers, people on Facebook argue too much. Always fighting. Not conducive to Business relationships.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Very good advice. I especially like the point of following multiple platforms. When it is time to stop and focus on quality and not quantity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks JC! Yes. Sometimes we just follow the trend, instead of thinking about what best serves us and our needs. I choose quality over quantity any day when it comes to interacting with people.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. These are some relevant reminders. I could never bring myself to go on multiple platforms in spite of being told that’s how it should be. It takes away too much of my energy and attention to handle and learn so many new accounts.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I knew I’d like this and want to repost when I read the title. This is great advice. I’ll just add to what you said: stay consistent, even if that means one post a week or every other week. Engage with your audience in a positive way. Know your market and continue to sell and resell to them. Don’t post any or too many personal photos on your business page.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks again Kelley! I agree. Consistency is key and it should be based on your own rules. In terms of personal stuff, I think it depends on the type of business or product. Some things lend themselves to getting to know the person a little deeper.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Riiiiight right… when you’re used to seeing slices of cake and then the baker pops on your feed at the beach in a bikini, things can feel weird. LOL that’s an extreme personal example, but I agree that there should be a sprinkling of get-to-know-me-better posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This may be relevant. Like you, I’m happy to help a new start-up gain some traction. My only ask is that they not start a group in Messenger, and tag me in there or anywhere else. I may not want to be part of a group message, or see an inordinate amount of new posts.

    Oh! Just because I’m a friend doesn’t mean I want to add all of my Contacts to their list or be named Admin for their page. Just saying!

    Liked by 3 people

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