Overwhelmed by Social Media?
There is way too much buzz today about Social Media and how you need to be using it for your business. If you are like most of us you in turn listen to this and say to yourself "Yes, I need to be involved in Social Media". You then run out and sign up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Digg and a dozen other social networks. You spend a week filling out all of your various profiles, another few weeks trying to be friends with everyone under the sun on these networks, and go gang busters for another few weeks trying to keep up with what everyone is saying on all of these sites. A few weeks or months of this frantic acitvity and you finally give up or lose interest. You claim "This social media stuff doesn't work!", you haven't gotten any new customers from it, you haven't made a single dime for your efforts. Sound familiar? This happens to countless professionals, they try to do too many things and then give up too quickly when they don't see immediate results. I have certainly fallen victim to this in the past.
The point is this, using social media does work if you work it correctly. Here then is the million dollar question; "Well how do I do that?"
Here are a few simple rules to follow to be successful using social media:
- Find out which social media networks your prospects are using and join them
- Join only a few networks (typically 2-5)
- Start engaging slowly (take 15-30 minutes a day)
- Participate in these networks consistently
- Stick with it and don't give up
Where Are Your Prospects Hanging Out?
Take some time and do a little research to find out where your prospective customers are spending their time online. Of course you need to have a good idea of who your ideal customer is first. Just because your friends or peers are hanging out on Twitter does not mean that is where you prospects are. Spend time where they are.
Pick a Few Social Media Networks
Don't go out and join a dozen networks (honestly who has the time to stay in touch with a dozen networks anyway?). The key is to pick a few networks where you prospects are spending most of their time on. You should try to limit your networks to 2-5 at the most. Let's face it unless you are in the Social Media business you just won't have the time to be active in any more than a few networks.
Begin Engaging With Your Networks
Begin engaging with people and have fun, if it feels too much like work then you won't stick with it. You want to make sure you priotize your networks and spend time on them according to their priority. Be very careful not to spam your network with endless self promotion. You will get unfriended, unfollowed and blocked very quickly if you do.
Don't try to do too much out of the gate. Try to spend at least 15 to 30 minutes a day monitoring, engaging and responding to your network. If for intance you have a Twitter account and you only check it once a month, well then how much interaction and quality networking do you expect to get from it?
Stick With It - Don't Give Up!
It takes time to build your network and to see results. Try to look at social media more like a marathon than a sprint. If you don't see any results in a month guess what that's normal. It may take you several months or even longer to start seeing the fruits from your efforts. Remember those who succeed are those who stick with it even though most people have already given up.