“I want to bring this to the table and introduce it so it’s a fun thing. This is my passion,” the CEO of Bella Web Design Inc. said at the weekly Buckhead Business Association breakfast meeting Thursday at the City Club of Buckhead.
Scales said people are frustrated with social media and often ask why they should do it and questions like, “Where is it going? Does it really work? Why am I Tweeting? Why am I posting to Facebook?”
“We live in an age of incredible technology,” she said. “If you really try to embrace it, then you will get more from it than you could ever believe.”
Scales emphasized how impactful social media outlets can be for businesses, specifically Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
She called LinkedIn the “corporate boardroom,” which is basically sharing resumes with other professionals, and Twitter the “cocktail party” where people go in and out of conversation sharing articles or stories in 140 characters per Tweet.
“On Facebook, everyone knows who you are and you want to give something for being a fan,” Scales said. “Think about incentives you can give people for being a fan of your page, such as contests. You want to build a network of fans and followers, and people who are advocates of what you do.”
She said it is important to let go of the old way of thinking from when “it used to be like, ‘I don’t want anyone talking about me or know what I’m doing,’” Scales said. “You’ve got to kick it to the curb.”
However, she said social media is not about self-promotion but more about helping people and sharing knowledge of a certain expertise.
“Don’t pitch and don’t do sales. … Be careful when you’re offering incentives for people,” Scales said. “You want people to organically like what you’re saying. Don’t push people to share you stuff and don’t stray from your expertise. … Don’t get too controversial on your channels.”
At the meeting, some association members asked why using social media is necessary every day for it to make a difference for a business and exactly how much time should be devoted to it.
“If you want to be effective, you should monitor your channel every day,” Scales said.
She said if people are not ready to commit to social media for a half hour to an hour every day, they should not start.
“If someone asks you a question today and you don’t answer them for a week because you’re too busy, it’s going to make an impression that you don’t care,” Scales said. “You have to put yourself in your client’s shoes.”
Additionally, Scales said it is imperative to stay positive on social media business pages, even when a customer posts something negative.
“Acknowledge your customer’s pain, tell them you’re going to help them with it. They’re more than likely going to give you a second chance,” she said. “Be transparent. … We’re all human.”