Every year thousands more companies are jumping on the social networking band wagon to attract potential clients, yet some of them are missing the key weapon – honesty. Anyone could bombard their Facebook profile with successful stories of their services or blow their trumpet about their discounts and promotions.

What they need to be doing is understanding exactly what their clients want, helping them and sharing photos or videos. Whether it’s offering useful information, asking them for feedback or posting where the team went on their Friday social, this will help build a relationship between you and your potential customer.

The internet is sometimes brutal and competitive so if you happen to post something which is false or is outright dishonest someone will catch you out and you will lose credibility. You might start to see your number of likes decrease on Facebook or receive a back lash from your loyal customers.

Either way there’s nothing worse than devoting time, posting content on your pages and then becoming an internet laughing stock. Being honest, truthful and upfront will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes and allow you to build strong relationships with your followers.

Social networking users perceive social marketing as a means of social interaction rather than direct advertising because there are no limitations. People aren’t able to find out who made the dazzling new John Lewis advert let alone the characters within the company itself but when reading Facebook posts on a regular basis or following someone on Twitter, a true personal relationship will develop.

Your social networking posts should be more of a conversation rather than a collage of adverts. That’s why those who ask relevant questions and participate in Facebook or Twitter comments get more attention and plenty more likes! Sharing photos of your colleagues (professional ones of course!) or even company work does will add colour to your profile and prove to your fans that you’re not just another faceless business page.

Overall honesty and openness makes the social marketing world go round and helps companies to forge long lasting relationships with their clients. The more open you are about your company, the more trusting your supporters will be. When it comes to placing the right content on your page, it’s better to give than receive! Clients would prefer to receive free information or help with something they’re struggling with rather than a constant barrage of ‘look how fantastic we are.’

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