Of all the business owners I’ve spoken with, being overwhelmed and confused by social media has got to be in their top three complaints. Along with marketing, in general, and how to be heard.
Guess what? Social media is a great way to do some heavy lifting regarding both marketing and getting heard!
It takes some initial set-up on your part, but once you get a system going—gotta love those systems!—it will be waaaaay easier for you.
But why? That’s a question I get a lot. “Why should I put any energy at all into social media?”
Quick answer—because that’s where all the people are.
You can listen to the audio version here:
I don’t mean to be so sassy about this.
But think about it. If you’re in the under 30 age group, you pretty much live online.
If you’re in the 30-49 age group, you’re on line a lot—to show off your kids, or check on them. To reach out to parents in your kids’ school, groups and organizations, to send messages to your parents and in- laws. If you’re not mated up, to find a mate!
If you’re over 50, you’re learning. BUT you’re probably also getting Facebook pictures of your nieces and nephews, maybe your grandkids, you’re connecting with neighbors and high school and college people you haven’t talked to in years.
And if you’re into crafts, art or anything visual, Pinterest is where you spend a lot of time.
If business is your thing, LinkedIn needs to be an arrow in your quiver.
Social media is just that—social!
And if there’s anywhere you want to be, it’s where the people are!
Social media groundwork you need for your business
The first step for you is to focus. And then you need to focus more deeply. And then, guess what—you need to focus some more.
But don’t let all this focus scare you.
I think we can cover some really big ground with 5 simple steps.
1) Choose your first social media platform to concentrate on This is going to be easier than you think. First consider where
people are perched on social media. And consider what you’re most comfortable doing.
The first is pretty easy. Where are people? The overwhelming answer is Facebook. Here are a few statistics: Facebook has more
than 800 million active users.
In addition, 50% of those users log on every day. More than 700 billion minutes per month—that’s the time people spend on Facebook. An average Facebook user is very connected—to 80 community pages, groups and events. And an average user posts 90 pieces of content each month. (statistics from Yahoo answers)
I could go on and on.
But what’s a no-brainer here is the overarching idea that’s driven the smartest business owners for more than 100 years. “Location, location, location.”
Go where the people go.
I’m not always so pro-Facebook. Or pro-anything for that matter.
But in this case, it’s obvious that the #1 social media platform is where you need to be.
So a lot of questions arise here.
Should you use your own profile for business? Or have a Facebook business Page? Should you use your name or your business name?
Whoa! I’ve already covered a lot about Facebook in Lesson 2 of my FREE class called, “7 Easy Steps to Becoming THE Go-To Expert in Your Field.” If you haven’t read that, you can get the class here.
If you’re a subscriber who can’t locate that lesson, give us a shout out and maybe we can get you the file (but only if you’re already one of our subscribers. Sorry, if you’re not, you will need to subscribe—we check, so be a good honest person and just sign up if you’ve not already done so. And I thank you!).
The easy part of this is that you’re already familiar with Facebook and it will be mostly a no-brainer for you—how to post, how to interact with people.
2) Choose a second social platform to plug into. You can’t live on Facebook—sorry.
You do need an additional social media platform to hang out on— oops I mean reach out from.
Why? Because you need to not get bored with just one format. Because you need to reach a very different group of people. Because different platforms interact in different ways and people can be very specific about what keeps them using a particular platform.
Do you like short notes that often refer you to some other really cool content? Then Twitter’s for you.
Do you love to make vision boards or collages? Then Pinterest could be where your efforts need to lie.
Interested in reaching some of the experts in new media? They hang out on Google +, so that might be your best bet for second
And of course, there’s LinkedIn, the largest business-only social media platform out there.
Try them each out for a little while and see what “speaks” to you. Which do you like using the most? Where do you think you could make the most connections? Answers to these questions should be helpful in your decision.
If you’re feeling worried about diving into a new platform, there are a bunch of webinars every week about all of them. Just google “twitter webinar” or “LinkedIn webinar” and you’ll find some great ones to learn from.
3) Talk regular. Just as in all marketing, you need to talk just like you would talk to me if we were sitting around your pool or we were
in a bar.
Simple, familiar, friendly.
Don’t pontificate. Don’t be a know-it-all. And drop the jargon.
Some people have compared social media to being at a party. Talk naturally and don’t always be promoting.
Share fun and unique information and links, both referring to business and not.
Social media is a party. Just be sure to show up!
4) Make connections. This is why you’re on social media to begin with—to make new business relationships.
Do not, I repeat: Do not be afraid to send someone a tweet, a Facebook message, a link.
The way to increase your know, like and trust factor is to converse, ask questions, and send a helpful link.
The more you engage, the more you’ll be regarded as “someone special,” a person to refer to, a person with a great solution to someone’s problems.
5) Plan. As with all these must-do’s, planning is a big part.
Plan your tweets and posts. Plan your strategy. For example, what are you going to spend the week posting about?
Maybe you could work up a strategy for marketing your new product via social media. That takes planning to figure out what you’re promoting, what you’ll say about it, when to say it, and getting it out there.
Here’s a helpful tip—on Twitter, you need to post 8-10 times per day if you’re actively marketing, So how can you do that if you have to get to your account that often?
You don’t—you use a system like hootsuite.com to plan and schedule your tweets ahead of time. Hootsuite sends out your tweets when you’ve scheduled them to go out. And you do this ahead of time, which saves a lot of time.
Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t need as many posts per day. But when you use Hootsuite on Facebook, your message is noted as being sent from Hootsuite (this is not the case on Twitter). And Facebook users frown upon a Hootsuite posting. They want to believe you’re actually there posting as they’re talking to you.
And you can be, because too many business postings per day on Facebook (like more than 2-3) is considered rude. So if you send out just two or three Facebook posts, you can be fully present
and answer people’s questions, ask a few questions and get your information out , too.
Here’s something unique. Because you can join as many LinkedIn groups as you want, you could conceivably post every day in all of them, several times a day. Plus posting on your own network feed.
This is just a beginning for you on the topic of social media. But it should give you enough to start to run with it.
Personally I think you’ll find you’ll be surprised at how fun and profitable social media can be.
And that social media will take you much closer to being THE go-to expert in your field.
Now it’s your turn—tell me about YOUR experience with any of these platforms in the reply section below.
If you have any questions about them, ask.
And I’d love it if you’d tell me about any experiences you’ve had with social media. Did you make some good connections? Some good future partners? Some good initial meetings?
I really do want to know! Tell me more. Now, please . . .