The major complaint about “Social Media” is that it either wastes your time or it is not effective for business. Like all activities within your business, the use of Social Media needs to be structured and focussed. You would not spend thousands of dollars on advertising without carefully deciding on your target market; the actions you want them to take and the words you use to attract their attention. Using Social Media for business is exactly the same, but with much less cost.
We have a wide range of Social Media resources for business at our fingertips – and these are my favourites (although not necessarily in this order):
Two or three excellent online community groups on Facebook and Ning, which add a variety of information, views and options for expanding my business network and circles of influence, especially my passion for the environment and conservation of Black Cockatoos and endangered species.
You see, Social Media is not so much what we say – but where and how we say it. Social Media is more the way we distribute the message, rather than the message itself. To be effective in Social Media we learn how to speak to our audiences in different ways, at different times.
Twitter conversations are short, pithy and have lots of links. Facebook posts are more in depth and invite short or long comments – depending on the topic, as does LinkedIn.
To effectively use Social Media needs time:
to learn how to use the right “language’ for different platforms
to create your own content ;
to write, spell check, grammar check and proof read;
check all your website links are working;
to post in the primary site;
to share with the appropriate networks and
to respond to your audience when they connect to you
You also need to allocate
time to find out how different platforms work most effectively
time to explore your platforms and
time to respond to and share the content of others, because Social Media is just that: social.
There is nothing more destructive to your online Social Media profile than not responding to comments and RT’s – until you get to be so famous and popular that everyone understands you just don’t have time to talk to everyone. Think of Stephen Fry. Or Justin Beiber.
With resources like Ping, Shareaholic and others, we can spread our Social Media posts far and wide, seeking interaction with our target audience, which will grow rapidly with a good newsletter and contact form on our website and Facebook page.
Using lists on Facebook and Twitter in the same way as we do with email mailing lists means we can be focused on with whom and when we want to communicate on a specific topic. Our focus with Social Media is to be disciplined, targeted and productive.
One way to be focused on being efficient while using Social Media, because it can be extremely distracting and time wasting if we are not careful, is to work through one Social Media platform at a time.
If it is LinkedIn –do that until it is all done. Meaning respond to messages, answer one to two questions if appropriate and accept invitations to connect. It may mean creating an event or responding to an invitation yourself.
When blogging, write and share from the BLOG post itself to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc and trust it will be read.
Learn the different ways to post to your Facebook business page as either yourself or as the business and vary your content accordingly.
If you are working through your email box, and a LinkedIn message pops up as an email to which you want to comment or reply, deal with it as email – not as LinkedIn. Approving and replying to comments on your blogs falls into the email category, because every comment is will be emailed to you and you can approve and reply from your iPhone as easily as you can from the website.
When commenting on a blog post or website, use your own Gravatar ID which is not only more efficient but links all your responses to more than one of your own Internet contact points – thus broadening your potential audience to your own internet presence.
This approach will make your Social Media activities far more productive; you will find yourself far less distracted and enjoying your Social Media experience much more. If you would like to comment or ask questions about this article, we would love to hear from you.