Social media is certainly not a magic wand, but it is a fantastic way to network and grow awareness of your business.
There are two obstacles I regularly hear from people. They say:
- I don’t know where to start
- I don’t have enough time
Knowing where to start isn’t as much as an obstacle as you might think. You are probably already on one social network already. Step one is to maximize your activity on that one network.
You have a personal profile on LinkedIn, great!
But are you really getting the most out of it? See if you are doing these things:
- Updating your status update daily with interesting, relevant stories, news, questions or information.
- Adding key words to your skills & expertise
- Revamping your profile summary to tell your story and highlight your unique value proposition
- Tweak your headline for optimum search results
- Add media rich content to highlight your portfolio of accomplishments or show off your work
- Join relevant groups
- Participate in group discussions
- Invite new people you meet or want to meet to join your network
- Create a business page
As the saying goes, Lather. Rinse. Repeat. These are daily and weekly activities you will want to do regularly!
Do you have a Facebook account?
Are you using it for business? You will probably want or need to create a business page on Facebook.
- Actively promote your Facebook business page and invite your friends to “like” it.
- Give them a reason to visit your page- great visuals, great information they may not find on LinkedIn, give-aways or free content, special deals, stories about customers, testimonials…
- Make sure you’ve got a link to your website in your “about” section
- Create events and invite your friends to attend or share the news
This open network is one of the best, in my opinion, for reaching out and establishing new relationships.
- Join Twitter chats or host one
- Share great content, news events, related to your expertise
- Always thank people for sharing your tweets
- Participate in #FF (Follow Friday) by listing the Twitter users you most respect, value and/or enjoy
- Find and follow new accounts by using FollowerWonk or other tricks
Just in case you want a handy checklist, you can find a really helpful one here by Top Dog Social.
As with any new task, there is a learning curve. But once you get the hang of this stuff, you can literally get a lot of it done in about an hour a day.
- Pre-schedule tweets using Buffer, SocialOomph, Tweetdeck or Hootsuite
- Cross-share on multiple networks (when appropriate) using the tools just mentioned. (Hootsuite is my weapon of choice)
- Get a good feed of content to share: following people on Twitter or Facebook; using RSS feedreaders like The Old Reader or Feedly; searching Technorati, Alltop, or even LinkedIn’s news customize news feature.
Set a timer and see how much you can get done in 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at the end of the day!
Many of these tips and suggestions are explored further in Social Networking For Business Success. Did you get your copy yet?