Effective Social Media Tips
Effective Social Media Tips
You and your small business need to have a social media presence. If your potential clients, customers, and audience live on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on, then it's only reasonable that you go to those places to reach them. Rarely do small businesses have the resources to hire a social media manager, meaning the fate of your online social presence likely rests on your shoulders.
Be More Than a Business
People connect with people on Twitter, so even though you may be tweeting (and Facebooking) as a business, tell your followers who you are and why you are in charge of the account. Include this information in your bio or "about" information. Something as simple as: "I'm Uncle Bob, CEO of Uncle Bob's Widgets" will do. From time to time, post information that reminds your followers that you are a human being with depth and interests. Social media users really do appreciate a human touch.
Broadcast Your Purpose
As you decide where to push your business within the enormous world of online social sites, be clear about what your business is and why it's on the various sites when setting up profiles. Fill in descriptions, "about" information, and other identifying content with clear, tight explanations. Refer back to your main business mission statement and your social media mission statement. What is the business or brand (or "who are you?" in the case of self-employed people) and what will you do on the social site?
Don't Just Push Your Own Content
No one likes a self-obsessed egomaniac (I know, it's hard to believe), so in addition to posting content about your business, also discuss other relevant issues, businesses, brands, or ideas - anything that makes you excited. This tip relates directly to the previous one. People who are passionate about a wide range of subjects are interesting, and interesting people attract followers. Trickle little bits of your passion into your social media presence, maybe one in every ten posts or so. Skip potentially controversial subjects (politics, religion, money), but share whatever it is that ignites your enthusiasm.
Reduce Tweets to 100 Characters
Twitter gives you 140 characters to use in a tweet, but you'll get more mileage out of tweets that are only 100 characters long. Try to reserve 40 characters so that other people who retweet your content can add their own comments or a link. It's a very good point to bear in mind, even if it does mean that you have to be even more concise.
Tips For Effective Social Networking
Effective Social networking can help grow your business when you have little money for marketing.
Know What You Want To Achieve
When I invest time and money in attending social networking events, I do so with the objective of making two to three good connections at each function I go to. The number of people I meet who seem to have no purpose in attending always surprises me. Are they there to meet new clients? To meet possible referral partners? Sometimes I just don't know!
Smile and Be Nice To Everyone
It pays to be nice to everyone at these functions because business circles in cities are small and at social networking events even smaller. If you find yourself lost for words or a little nervous at social networking events, the best tactic is to smile and ask the other person questions about themselves. Most people are happy to talk about what they do and while they're chatting away, you'll have the chance to either think of some additional questions or plan your exit strategy! Sometimes it can be hard to make that first introduction but to make best use of your time you do also need a polite way to move on, if necessary, and keep networking!
Politely Join a Conversation
One of the intimidating aspects of attending social networking functions on your own is the prospect of introducing yourself to people you've never met. Like many others, I find this extremely difficult. One of the ways that I introduce myself to a group of people who may be in mid-conversation is to smile and say, "May I join you?" It is a polite way of interrupting the conversation and breaks the ice.
Limiting your drinks may seem like an obvious suggestion, but I am often amazed at the number of people who attend business networking events only to have too much to drink.
What Does Your Business Card Say
In three months time when they are going through a pile of cards - Will they know who you are and what you do, based on your business card? Make sure the back is used to list the areas you cover and don't forget the things that make you different to your competitors.
Good Follow Up or SPAM
The key reason most business owners attend social networking events is to make new business connections, which often require a follow up phone call or meeting. I often meet people at social networking events who I have no need to do business with in the short term, but who nonetheless are valuable contacts for future reference.
One of the ways I keep in contact with them is through my regular newsletter. However, I do seek permission before I enter a new email address into my database. I've found that the easiest and most cost effective way to do this is to send an email in the days following the event introducing myself again and asking if we can keep in contact through my newsletter.
Effective Social Networking can be an inexpensive way of building your brand, lifting your profile and attracting new clients. It's part of the marketing strategy for my business and has been a good source of new and potential customers.
When you consider that business networking events are about establishing relationships, it's surprisingly common to actually alienate those you meet. Here are some mistakes you could be making at social networking events.
Looking Over Shoulders
The person you have started talking to is not your ideal connection, so you gaze over their shoulder while they are talking to you to see who else might be in the room. The problem here is this person may be connected to someone who is your ideal connection, but you will never know because you alienated them.
Talking About Yourself Too Much
Everyone wants others to be interested in them, but talking about yourself constantly is not the way to achieve this. People are more likely to be interested in you if you show genuine interest in them. Ask questions, display curiosity about who they are and what they do as this creates an authentic connection and leads them to be interested in you too.
Shaking Hands like a Wet Fish
The "wet fish" portrays lack of strength and commitment. I never trust anyone with a "wet fish" handshake even though they might be the best at whatever it is they do. Not sure what kind of handshake you have? Ask someone you feel comfortable with to give you feedback.
SELL, SELL, SELL Approach
Social networking events are definitely not the time to try and sell your services. Doing this is a major turn off. Focus on building a meaningful initial connection. If you think there is potential business to be done suggest calling them in the next few days to meet for coffee.
Avoiding Eye Contact
Eye contact is essential for building trust with people. Even if you feel shy it is important to make good eye contact.
Get Their Name Right
People like their names and they really like to be called by their actual name! It may seem such a small point but it is critical to pay attention to names when you are being introduced to someone. If you are not clear on pronunciation, ask for clarification, nobody will mind.