By Trevor Dumbleton
The big buzzword on the internet nowadays is social media. This can be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any one of a myriad of other sites where you pour your heart out in the hope that other people will take notice and maybe – just maybe – consider doing business with you.
And sometimes that works!
But it works best if you have a plan and if you don’t spend every waking hour pressing refresh on your screen as an excuse for not doing any real work.
Which means that your social marketing needs discipline.
So take a step back from your current social media activities and take stock of where you’re currently at and where you want to be.
For instance, Twitter isn’t all about the quantity of followers. It’s all very well being followed by vast quantities of people but if those people are just effectively robots spewing out Tweets on the hour, every hour, but not reading your utterances then is it actually a worthwhile activity?
You probably won’t know the precise answer to that unless you test and measure every now and then. Putting out a Tweet that almost compels an answer is one way to do that. If you send it out during regular business hours for your country and get zero response, that’s probably a bad sign.
Facebook is the other great potential time waster of social media. It’s good for keeping in touch with friends and family and even business colleagues. But it needs to be managed effectively.
Decide whether or not your target market is most easily reached with Facebook. If you’re a retail business, the answer is probably yes. If your main client base is other businesses, the answer will be less clear cut. If they are typically sole traders, then it’s a maybe. If their customer base is mainly consumer based then it’s likely they are using Facebook for their marketing on a reasonably regular basis.
So work out whether it’s best use of your time or whether you should just dip into it for a couple of minutes a day.
And remember that Facebook users (literally) like things like pictures and videos. So work out how you can weave these into your posts.
LinkedIn tends to be business to business. Building up your contact lists on it is useful. Joining groups can be useful as well, especially if they walk that fine line between being active enough without getting notice of seemingly hundreds of new contributions every day.
LinkedIn is also the place to encourage your current clients to endorse you (there’s a button now where they can do just that) and also to leave a testimonial for others to read.
It pretty much works as an independent place for your testimonials – that’s definitely the perception of it, so make the best use of that perception.
The trick with using social media online is to make sure that the time you spend on it really is productive. Not just a way of passing the time of day and pretending that you’re doing business.
If you’d like more help with your internet marketing, I’m offering a free audio that gives you an overview of what you need to make your internet marketing more effective without spending a fortune.
And the modern day twin of social media is Web 2.0 sites which combine old-fashioned content with the interactivity of social media. You can find out more here.