Friday, May 25, 2012

Using social media more effectively

Here are a few key tips that all businesses can adopt to get them started, or improve on their use of social media.

1. Build a strong profile
Start with a compelling summary. Tell people who you are and what you stand for. Remember to use keywords related to your area of expertise so others can find you in relevant searches. With Twitter, make sure your bio actually tells people who you are and what you do. With LinkedIn, reinforce your message by adding relevant, thought-leading content via blogs, video/ppt presentations, and customer testimonials.

An extra note for LinkedIn users: LinkedIn is best used as a peer-to-peer personal network - NOT an online CV. Try to make your summary sound less like a cover letter and more like an "about us" page that you would find on a company website. Check out Tom Skotidas' profile (he's an expert in B2B social media) as an example of a great LinkedIn summary.

2. Build your connections
Larger networks equal more exposure. In LinkedIn and Twitter you can start by connecting with people you already know (colleagues, business partners, clients, professional friends), then move onto harder targets by connecting with those who share the same group or know someone that you know. If you are able to identify people in your target market try connecting with them too.

In Facebook, one of the best ways to build your connections is to ensure that you have content that actively encourages user participation e.g. "Likes", comments or polls.

3. Post Status Updates
Let people know you're there. Status updates enable you to distribute relevant content to those in your network and helps you to be perceived as an expert in your field. Status updates can also help to build your personal and company brand, generate click-throughs to your website and generate leads.

In Twitter, use hashtags (#), mentions (@) and retweets (RT) to spread the word but remember to keep your posts on-brand to attract the right kind of follower. In LinkedIn, status updates tend to be "sticky", so try not to post more than 2 times per day. In LinkedIn remember that you can write your own commentary about a link, and when you do this ensure that you use unique thought provoking content to attract readers attention. Also avoid using Twitter speak (#’s and @’s) in your LinkedIn posts, they will make you look lazy.

4. Keep it professional
Separate your personal accounts from your business accounts. If you are using social media for business purposes it is important that you stay professional. People are connected with you because they're interested in what you have to say... So, unless it is part of your business strategy, try to keep random/personal posts to a minimum (especially on LinkedIn) as this can annoy your existing followers and attract people outside your target market.

5. Design your social media strategy
A Social Media strategy is a plan for how and why your business is using social media. It can be as brief or as complex as you like but ultimately it needs to justify the time and effort you are going to spend.

1 comment:

  1. Well illustrated that makes sense to me and gives me a good idea too!

    Carla @ Small Business CRM