I recently presented a one-hour seminar for the Chemeketa Small Business Management Power Advising Group on the topic of
Social Business Networking. I focused on answering the following questions;
- Is it relevant?
- How do I find the time?
- How do I ‘do it’?
- Where is the return on investment?
During my presentation I talked about 4 steps to getting started and maximizing your social media efforts for your business;
- Get started: sign up for accounts at Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook (both a personal profile and setup a Fan page). Setup keyword-rich profiles at each one and brand your presence to match your current branding.
- Start connecting: Reach out to others who may want to connect to you. While each of the sites provide a tool for you to import and invite your entire address book – doing so is probably not necessary nor is it appropriate. You can use these tools, but be selective when you invite. Remember, you are out to build relationships, not numbers.
- Setup a routine that works for you: Don’t feel like you “have to” tweet, post, or nudge a certain number of times per day or certain content just because somebody else says you should.
- Continually promote: put your social media icons on your web site, in your email signature, forum and blog signatures, and anywhere people might see it. (Link to your Facebook Fan page, not your personal profile).
I didn’t realize how close #3 had hit home until later after the presentation. You see, I had started out on a lighter note with the following slide (No offense intended with the politically-incorrect ‘R’ word)
One of the attendees, Fred Molesworth, a Salem Oregon photographer, mentioned how he had recently attended another seminar in Salem where the presenter was talking about how you should get up in the morning and Tweet what you are having for breakfast, and keep tweeting throughout the day exactly what you are doing. Really.
Really?? My slide was intended to be funny, not a statement of what you should do. Now I’m not going say that I’ve never posted about food (especially my daughter’s brownies) but I don’t make a regular habit of it. And neither should you. If you are trying to use social networking for your business, focus on things like the following;
- Building relationships by engaging in conversation
- Providing value for those connected with you
- Keeping people abreast of what’s happening in your company (and life, but don’t overdo it)
- Positioning yourself as an expert
While we are all certainly interested in the details of each others’ lives (to a point), and the occasional posting about food isn’t going to hurt anything … we can only handle so much detail. If you’re doing it every day … pretty soon it just becomes overwhelming and we begin to tune it out, which doesn’t do anybody any good.
Usually, I end my presentations with my one and only rule “Never, ever post something you wouldn’t want your spouse, kids, boss, or colleagues to see” …
but now I’m adding a new rule. “Just because you can …. doesn’t mean you should“.
If you’d like help with your social media strategy for your business, give us a call at 503.581.4554. We’d love to chat.