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How to Boost Your Social Media Connections? USA Annual Beverage Trade Tasting and Business Conference 16 & 17 May, 2017. NYC

Social media can add immense value to any business but especially to small businesses getting them a tremendous amount of exposure if they manage their social media accounts well. We outline 12 tips on how you can use your social media connections the right way and leverage the millions of people that are active online to help you grow your business.

Connect with real-life contacts immediately on social media

• Establishing business relationships is the single most important thing that you can do for your business but just meeting someone once does not constitute a relationship. • So, once you have exchanged business cards with an industry contact add them on your social media networks and begin to build a social connection with them before they forget who you are or where they met you. Stay relevant to them and in the forefront of their mind! Â

Teach, don’t preach • Use your social media channels to educate your audience. Don’t talk at people, instead talk to them and be respectful of their opinions and viewpoints. No one likes to feel like you are talking down to them or belittling them for their ignorance. • Always remember that social media is not a pulpit to lecture, rather it is a platform to connect with people and have conversations.

Make all of your posts in English • If you plan to operate in international markets, it can be commonplace to want to use the regional dialect for the countries that you are marketing in.

• However, posting in too many languages on your social media can become overwhelming and frustrating for your audience and they may unfollow you. English is the most commonly used language in the business world so stick to that to maintain your professionalism.

Create a social media marketing plan • Think about your specific goals behind wanting to use social media to advance your brand. What are you trying to accomplish by using social media? You should figure out your goals before even creating an account Easternthe Winery Exposition for your business and making first post. • This is because you want to be consistent in your message from the very beginning so customers and potential customers know exactly what to expect from your brand.

Post frequently • Because social media is ever flowing and ever changing, you must post often in order to keep the conversation going. Popping in and commenting sporadically will not get the job done. • Respond to every single comment that gets left for you to keep the conversation going. That is your number one goal with social media, to be social and start conversations.

Think before you post • Once a post is out there on the internet, there is no taking it back. So, think hard before posting something that could be misconstrued or considered offensive. • Many people have lost their jobs or businesses off of just one single post on social media that lacked forethought and went viral for all of the wrong reasons.

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