You Have Facebook and Twitter Accounts - So You're Using Social Media, Right?
Maybe, but maybe not. The questions becomes - are you getting results? How you use social media is almost as important as whether or not you sign up for an account.
I've heard Social Media being compared to having a gym membership. Once you have a membership you've taken the first step to getting fit. But if you don't work out on a regular basis, you won't see the benefits. There are also strategies you can use to maximize your time at the gym and improve your results.
The same is true for social media.
Social media isn't a magic bullet and having profiles on all the sites won't make you an overnight success. The value of social media comes over time as you engage people who are interested in your message.
Here are some ways to improve your results with social media:
1.) Have a strategy that includes what you want to achieve with social media, what tools you will use, and how you will measure results. Make adjustments as necessary. Social media is more of an art than a science and each industry, business, and individual are different. You may need to make more than a few tweaks to find your stride.
2.) Choose the Right Tools - Do your research and determine which tools will work best for you and your business. Where are your customers online? You might not want or need to be on every site out there. Focus your efforts where you will get the best results.
3.)Listen First before you jump into any site, this will let you get a feel for what's acceptable and what's not, every community is different. Also, make sure you understand a site's Terms of Service as some have restrictions on how you can promote your business.
4.) Personalize and Humanize - No one wants to talk to a logo, social media is about people and interactions. Don't be afraid to share information that shows you are human, it will make you more approachable to your follows.
5.) Engage - Provide value and don't be spammy! You might be excited about your product or service but no one likes a non-stop sales ad. Provide relevant information but more importantly, interact and engage with your followers. Make sure your social media conversations are a Dialogue, and not a Monologue!
The main thing is to just get out there, ease into it if you need to but start working that social media muscle.
This article also appears on our Social Media Blog.