Do your fans and followers get Tricks or Treats from you on social media? The tricks are like egg on your car or like toilet paper in your bushes - unwelcome, to say the least. The "Treats," however, go beyond what's expected. They are what will set you apart from others and keep your fans and followers engaged, bringing you more business and happier customers in the long run.

Check out these ghoulish tricks to avoid and delightfully surprising treats to pass out to your fans and followers all year long!

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spisharam/2988526695/[/caption]

Trick #1: Are You a Social Ghost? You set up a Twitter account & a Facebook Fan page - heck you've even created a company LinkedIn page, a Google Plus page, and you're on Pinterest. Your customers can find you. They go to your social media channels to talk to you, engage, compliment, criticize and ask questions. But where are you? You're a ghost on social media. You have an eerie presence and give your customers a chill because there's nobody there! Or is there?

Don't be the invisible man or woman! Here's what you should be doing: As a matter of course you should always be monitoring and replying on any channels you set up, otherwise it's like having a phone number you never answer on an address at which you don't open mail. Set up these barriers for telemarketers, not for your customers!

Treat: Be like Casper, the friendly ghost, instead! Go above and beyond. Scour the social sphere for any mention of your business (not everyone will know to @Mention you or comment on your page) and surprise them with a reply.

Helpful tools: MarketMeSuite Real-time search helps you find people talking about your business (or topics relevant to your business) on Twitter and Facebook both inside and outside of your own social circle. Twitter search can be used, but for Twitter only.

Trick #2: Are You a Social Vampire? Are you draining the life out of your following by constantly spamming them with offers? They may start wearing garlic and carrying wooden stakes!

Don't suck on social media! Here's what you should be doing: Sending your offers amidst engaging content and helpful posts is perfectly reasonable and can increase your retweets and shares! Only 5-10% of your messages to fans & followers should be promotional.

Treat: Put those fangs away! To treat your base, why not run a contest through your social channels to give your customers a chance to engage and even win something cool. Just make sure the prize is related to your business to get targeted followers and run your contest in moderation.

Helpful tool: Constant Contact's Social Campaigns can help you run promotions and offers on your Facebook page designed to turn fans into customers.  

Trick #3 Think you're some kind of magician, huh, making negative comments disappear into thin air? Social media is public. This means that your customers can say nice things about you, but it also means they can complain. One of the worst tricks you can play on your customers, fans and followers is to simply delete any negative post on your Facebook wall (barring any profanity of course).

To be successful on social, you're going to have to turn a few toads into butterflies: If there is a negative comment, try to make the customer happy so that people who are following can see how you treat even your hardest to deal with customers.There may come a point that the conversation needs to be moved to a more private forum and that's ok. Ask the person on the thread or in the tweet conversation to email you, DM or private message. Showing that you are willing to take care of negative comments publicly says a lot about how you run your business, and it's great for other potential customers to see this kind of commitment.

Treat: Can I have a volunteer from the audience? Proactively ask customers to give you feedback via polls surveys and posts. This shows a lot of confidence and makes your customers feel valued and trusted. If the concept scares you, you may want to rethink your customer satisfaction methods to ensure that public feedback would be something you'd be proud to share.

Hope you enjoyed this post. It's my treat. Happy Halloween!