How to Milk Social Media For All It’s Worth

How to Milk Social Media For All It’s Worth

I don’t need to tell you how important social media is for your business — there’s just way too much data out there to convince you and I don’t have to repeat myself.

But sadly, entrepreneurs don’t really use social media to its real potential. Facebook becomes the “idle joe’s channel”. Twitter becomes a way to quickly parse through some interesting content (whatever tickles you) or it also becomes a way to express your opinions on celebs or a chance for you to jump at trending news.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn is as passive as television is — you keep yourself abreast of who gets promoted where or what some of your professional contacts are up to.

Agreed that that’s how social media evolved, but there’s just so much more social media is capable of.

Here are a few important ways to use social media to help grow your business or provide some value to you:

Use social to bring in relevant traffic

 

You know this already, but it’s important. So, we’ll let it sink in. Use a combination of all your social accounts — putting up the kind of format that each network demands (meaning that images do well on Pinterest and Instagram; your blog posts get traction on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook) — to get some traffic back to your own website.

When a few members of your social networks click on those posts or other content you share, they come back to visit you.

Plus, you can also use tools like Snip.ly to get traffic to specific calls to action (using which you can send traffic to either pages of your website, landing pages with offers, or wherever you please).

Your social media accounts can be at work 24 x 7, with timed and regular updates going out throughout the day (hint: use Buffer or Hootsuite).

Small talk is profitable

 

All of that content on Social media isn’t meant to be consumed (like you’d with a newspaper or a magazine). You are supposed to consume content, yes. But you also supposed to dig a little deeper while casting the net ever so wide to find out who those real people are behind all the content.

Mentions, interactions, small talk, conversations that flow back and forth, acquaintances, friendships, and professional relationships — these bring value to your social presence (apart from the obvious traffic, which is again people).

Maintain those micro-interactions, acquaintances, friendships, and whatever happens on your social networks. This is your new-age ability to get as personal as you can get with a global network of existing customers, potential customers, evangelists, investors, vendors, and even future hires.

Influence. One Update at a time

 

Most followers and fans on your social networks are passive — meaning that they just sit there and let your content stream through their feeds. While you might have liked it if your social following was more active, but then, you ask for a lot.

Your social following has low attention span. This doesn’t mean “no attention” at all.

Social followers and fans might be passive (or active), but they are listening. They are tuned in. They see their tweets, log into LinkedIn, drift on Pinterest, and scroll through their Instagram feeds. Of course, they check their Facebook accounts too.

As they listen and while they stay tuned in, you have your chance to influence them. As a business or a brand, you are an influencer. You are supposed to be good at what you do, and you’ll do great when you are voice that your social following wants to hear when it comes to the topic that your business relates to.

See how each of these companies (each in a different industry) influence their respective social following with content, authority, and love.

Real-time networking: Go deep & wide

 

While you are on social media, don’t lose the opportunity of getting to know people. Go out there and click on those who follow you, talk to you, share your content, and mention you. Find out who they really are by clicking on their social handles and getting to really know them.

Handles are fine, but what are their names?

What’s their business? What do they do? What are they good at?

What do they write about? Why do they write about what they write about?

What kind of things are “they” passionate about? What tickles them?

 

Find out as much information as you possibly can, and then get in touch with them — not for a crappy link. Not because you want something from them, and certainly not because you want them to buy from you.
Do it because the world needs to listen to you, because you mean well for them, and because you care.

Social media isn’t the newspaper; it’s not a magazine. It’s an opportunity for you to connect.

The question is: are you connecting enough? Are you giving the world a tickle?

Social Marketing: 10+ Tools Guaranteed To Boost Engagement

Social Marketing: 10+ Tools Guaranteed To Boost Engagement

First things first: Social Marketing is not like marketing elsewhere. If you are on social media, treat it like your chance to build your network, make an impact, provide value at scale, and make new connections easily. Social media is not for you to sell anything. Whatever you do, please don’t get your social media strategy wrong.

But then, you’d want to make social media work for you. It’d be nice if people notice your presence, have conversations with you, share your content, respond with comments, make a mental note of everything you say out there, and maybe even line up to buy from you (a tall order, but it’s alright to dream up).

Here are a few tools that are guaranteed to make an impact to the way you post updates, manage people, monitor mentions, and more on social media:

QuickMeme

 

Quickmeme

 

I’ve been an ardent fan of memes but I could never bring myself to use one anywhere — within blog posts, on social media, or within an email.

But I knew they were awesome, they could add a wee bit of fun, and they do help in marketing efforts. As Elizabeth Victor of BrandWatch writes, memes give you a healthy chance to capture your audiences’ attention, gain traction, and at least allow you to have fun (while letting the goodness of social media happen naturally).

A few other tools worth checking out are, here are a few more free meme tools worth considering:

MemeGenerator.net
Canva has a meme creation tool built in
Imgur
LiveMeme
Memedad
ImgFlip

Curated with thanks to Max Knoblauch of Mashable.

Giphy

 

Giphy

 

Giphy is super popular and you can literally churn out relevant gifs to go with your content, social updates, and emails. Gifs aren’t new but most of us don’t use them effectively enough.

Tereza Litsa of Clickz points out 12 reasons why you should use gifs for marketing: when you put gifs for marketing use, they act like natural magnets to get you the traction you need. They are easy to consume while being extremely popular. They are appealing, popular, easier than video, and are better than text.

In short, they just rock.

via GIPHY

I am doing the happy dance already. See?

Gifs are moble-friendly, cross-platform ready, and make for great story-telling.

The sixty frames in a gif are equivalent to 60,000 words, according to Alex Chung, CEO and cofounder of Giphy.

Do you really need more convincing?

Adobe Spark

 

Adobe Spark

I’ve written about Adobe Spark earlier on Groovywebtools earlier, and it’s a terrific tool for marketers. I’ll just quote myself from my previous post here:

“… Adobe Spark lets you pour some life on usually static files you end up creating. Since most marketers are pressed for time and because doing fancy graphics and videos is just not up everyone’s capacity, Adobe spark helps you whip up some amazing creative that you could use to update social media accounts, spice up your blog posts, or even create many other content assets.

Adobe claims that you can create social graphics, web stories, and animated videos with Adobe Spark, and that’s obviously welcome.

It’s a light-weight, quick application that allows you to sync your iOS devices with your computer so that you can create your graphics whenever inspiration strikes. Titled as Spark Post, Spark Page, and Spark video, you can create amazing graphics, whip up engaging web stories, and also create compelling animated videos to let you tell stories better.

Here’s a quick look at the Adobe Spark inspiration gallery that gives you a quick head start on what kind of graphics, web stories, and videos you can create. Adobe Spark also comes with beautiful typography (Adobe’s TypeKit helps here), and it also has professional themes you can tweak instead of wasting time creating stuff from scratch.”

Votion

 

Votion

 

It’s nice to let you some have some superlative engagement with your audiences without you needed to break your back to pay someone else. Votion has plenty of products to let you do some real “big brand” engagement with brackets, interactive online polls, interactive lists, “This Vs That Matchups”, Stackup Swipe to Like, Quizzes, Assessments, rich media, and Interactive ads.

Using Votion, you can use any type of media such as images, videos, graphics, and others. Enable your assets cross-device, use “challenge marketing”, and get real-time stats on how well your audiences are gobbling all the fun stuff you create.

Here’s how a Matchup looks like (for brand Zillow) – used for lead qualification.

Zillow Survey Votion

Or maybe you want to to do a simple survey (like Salesforce did?)

B2B Votion

Paper.li

 

Paper.li

Would you like to supercharge your Twitter and other social accounts? Say hello to paper.li. Several years ago, I signed up with paper.li and added a few keywords and actual URL sources from some of my favorite hero sites, and I released the monster. It’s been 4 years or so and my account still gets new followers – apart from some great visibility and traction that I’d not get otherwise.

Get yourself a free account, give it a name, add a few hashtags and keywords that your business relates to or associates itself with, and let Paper.li curate and publish content all by itself.

 

Scoop.it

 

Scoop.it

Scoop.it makes it easier to find and share content, encouraging you to be and making you a more active contributor. The key to making Scoop.it work, you’d need your two cents handy. Whether you share your own content or someone else’s the value of Scoop.it lies in leaving “insights” with every post you share.

When you leave your comments, you tend to frontload your thoughts and opinions with every piece of content you share on Scoop-it.

 

Flauntt

 

Flauntt

 

Flauntt is a simple tool designed to encourage others to promote your content through genuine online engagement. If you are on Twitter, you’d need some love for all the updates you do. I post anywhere from 12 – 26 updates every day and I know I need some love.

Flaunt encourages genuine tweets by letting users earn credits for sharing content. Think of it as good old sharing with some sort of gamification built in.

Like, you share. They share. Everyone benefits.

 

Brand24

Brand24

Once you get popular or if you see your social networks picking up lots of activity, you’d increasingly find the need to monitor mentions and conversations about your brand.  You’d want to know what the world says about your brand.

Also, you should ideally be available to chip in when conversations about the problem your products or services solve happen on social.

Brand24 is the perfect tool for monitoring your brand mentions or keep track of conversations.

Learn more about Brand24 here at Groovywebtools

Quuu

 

Quuu

Curation is the next best thing you could do aside from creating your own content for your business.

While there are plenty of tools for content curation, Quuu offers hand curated content suggestions for social media. You can also submit your article to be promoted by hundreds of Quu-users (currently a free option).

The best submitters can also become Quuu-rators and promote their articles free for life

Snip.ly

 

Snip.ly

A genius tool that turns normal sharing into promotion for your site. We would call snip.ly the realization of bit.ly; it’s a call to action packed in every link you share.

For most of our clients, Snip.ly alone is responsible for a continuous stream of traffic depending on how well they use Snip.ly. For every update on social, Snip.ly accounts for a level of traffic that would have just been opportunity lost if you never used it.

Learn more about Snip.ly here at Groovywebtool

What are your favourite social marketing engagement tools? What are some of those tools that you can’t live without? Know any tools that changed the outcome of your social presence? Do let me know.

Do Or Die: The 3 Right Ways to Use Social Media

Do Or Die: The 3 Right Ways to Use Social Media

So, you know that social media is big. You are probably active. You took the pain of setting up your social media accounts for yourself (personal branding?) and for your business.

Now, you strive to keep your social media accounts active. You go all out to make sure that you are tweeting, posting, updating, sharing, producing new content everyday, and amplifying your business brand.

God knows, you’ve done it all.

Yet, you don’t see much happening. You do see occasional activity on your social profiles like receiving thanks. People responding to your questions, and all that jazz.

But, where the heck is the money? Why aren’t sales happening? Why isn’t anyone buying? I got bills to pay and all I get is all these strangers saying hello, cool, and thanks?

No one is buying because social media is like a party you have been pushed into unsuspectingly. You are a reluctant social animal now, with a virtual forest that now became your habitat.

How the heck will you make sense of it all? What do you do really use social media for (apart from sharing your content and saying “hello” and “thanks” a thousand times?

Stop trying to make sense of it. Social media is complex.

Social media isn’t like a TV program, a newspaper, a billboard, or a magazine’s center spread.
You don’t try to wing it here. Don’t try to spam. Don’t push. Don’t appear needy. Don’t come on too strong. Don’t even show up sometimes (if you can).

There’s only way way to use Social Media, and it’s this

Stop being so darned selfish

 

Let’s admit it. The reason for everything you do online today is a selfish one. You are on LinkedIn because you are looking for leads for your business. You are Twitter and Facebook because you want more followers, you want traffic to your website, you want to grow your tribe, or you want to pamper yourself with a massive ego kick.

Either way, it’s all about you. You are doing it all because you are still focusing on “You”.

With time, this becomes an obsession. So much that businesses even hire “others” to do this on a regular basis.
It’s always about you, your business, your achievements, your recent $3.5 billion deal, and your cat.

Stop this madness already.

Connect with people, Like You Really Should

 

When you employ the right ways to use social media, you win. That requires you to connect, feel, empathize, understand, be positive, and generous.

Without a specific agenda, it’s hard to send out an email, a direct message on Twitter, reach out to someone on LinkedIn (after spending a fortune on InMail). Social media gives you a chance to connect with absolutely anyone in the whole world, and that’s exactly what you should be doing.

Get in touch with real people in your network. Write to them like you write to a long-lost friend.

Find someone doing something awesome? Write to them to congratulate them.
Someone needs help? Solve their problem.
Your LinkedIn 2nd degree connection is looking for a job? Reach out to your 1st degree connections to see if you can help.

You get the drift?

 

Don’t expect anything

 

Reaching out to your own social network is easy but dealing with the ramifications of that outreach isn’t.

People don’t always write back. They don’t reciprocate. They won’t communicate with you. Some walls are impossible to breach. A few other times, you’d have to rinse and repeat. In most cases, you’d have to work really hard just to say hello and get noticed.

You’d have to do all of that without expecting anything.

Social media won’t give you anything. You can only earn.

Stop treating social media networks like fish markets. If you want to sell fish, there are markets for that.

Like Jay Baer of Convince and Convert puts it, there’s “social” in social media.

Just saying…

How to Make Twitter Work For Your Business

How to Make Twitter Work For Your Business

 

Twitter is humongous and is still growing. At its last count, Meg of Talkwalker pointed out that there are now 313 million active users on Twitter and at least 500 million tweets per day.

About 87% of users get their news from Twitter. Meanwhile, more than 67% of Twitter users are likely to purchase something from those that they follow.

That’s powerful.

Yet, all is not well for thousands of small businesses trying to make their presence count on Twitter.

So, here’s exactly what you should be doing to make sure that your presence — apart from the time, effort, and resources that you’ll spend – really works for you:

Be an Evangelist

 

Everyone loves attention. We are human, after all.

So, why not give it to them? We did learn that it’s always nice to make someone else’s day, and if all it takes is a Tweet, why not do it?

Dig into your list of followers and give out praise. Plus, you are likely to be following, learning, getting inspired, or maybe even using products or services of people you are likely to point to.

Just like that.

Don’t bother if you don’t get any reactions, thanks, or if no one reciprocates. Just do it for the sake of doing it. Here’s how you can shower praise or maybe just make mentions about anyone on Twitter.

Follow the 50-30-20 Rule

 

503020 rule.

 

If you are doing 10 updates a day, 5 of those could be information from any source that your followers can relate to (maybe from non-competing sources such as magazines, blogs, or online publications). Three tweets should be your own content (and for this, you’d have to be blogging in the first place), and finally 2-3 tweets could be random conversations, chats, and engagement of some kind.

Don’t complicate it. This rule is not etched in stone. It’s just to give you an idea about how you can split up your tweets and keep your social media calendar full.

Everyone with a finger and a button can retweet. What’s more important is to add a dash of your own personality to retweets and then almost making them your own (although they aren’t).

Adding a comment, question, or remark enhances your Twitter update’s sex appeal

Your followers follow you on Twitter because they expect you to bring insights and ideas to them, right to their Twitter stream.

They don’t want to hear what you did over the weekend and they also want you to be concerned about the number of updates you push out on a regular basis.

Ineffective way to share insights is to make a collection of them related to your niche and share them (after scheduling, of course). Make sure you credit sources.

With all that content stretching into reams of text, sometimes little 140-character insights are a welcome addition to the rushed and tight space in your followers’ twitter streams.

Cut down on the words and give insights, one tweet at a time. Of course, keep it relevant to your niche and make every “#twinsight” count. Further, be sure to give credits when due.

 

Drop Statistics

 

The Twitterati loves statistics. On your part, they ooze credibility (and they make you look smarter than most people). Statistics are also easy to find online.

Dig into slides on Slideshare, infographics, and even monster pages with all sorts of statistics and research already ready for you.

drop stats

 

Have an Opinion? Let the world Know

 

You can’t talk of personality and voice without an opinion. Have opinion, will succeed. Eh?

While you’d still be making sense to your followers — in business terms — you’d suddenly get personal and have a strong opinion of your own.

These opinions can only do two things to your Twitter account 24 hours from an update going live: you’ll either get a couple of follows or unfollows. That’s clarity.

Start Having Conversations, Please

 

Your twitter engagement is never complete without a bit of provocation, a conversation, and some engagement. After all, it’s people out there on Twitter and you can’t pretend like they don’t exist (although you get a full stream of updates all day long). If there’s anyone who should start a conversation, it’s you.

Go ahead and use intriguing questions for your followers. Maybe just start saying “hello” [hint: some of these answers can well be attributed and linked to. More love. More awesomeness]

Use Follow Fridays, Like You Should

 

Most Twitter users are still old-fashioned and they’d use follow Fridays to just list a few of their respective followers. That’s boring.

Instead, dedicate every Friday for about 10 followers who’ve been actively communicating with you. Perhaps, there’s a thing or two you know about them?

Maybe their own tweets gave away some information that you can use to your advantage. Get professional personal. Don’t push #FF updates like a machine.

Here are a few ways to do it:

follow fridays

–Show your personality on Twitter. Show who you are and what you stand for. It’s a public place, for heaven’s sake, so be your best.

–Discover something your followers are passionate about. Go all out to find out what ticks them.

–Make it a point to take time out to craft the best possible #FF tweet. It’s an effort that’s like once in a week but it has a lot going for it.

— Respond to every piece of conversation that ensues your #FF tweet.

–Attempt to cover as many followers as possible each week. Try not to pick on the same set of followers again and again.

How do you do #FF?

Go Visual

 

Use visuals, vectors, graphics, and photos for at least 40% of your Tweets. It’s not going to be easy, it’d demand a change in the way you update your Twitter account, and it’ll call for extra effort on your part.

This would probably bring down the volume of your Tweets, and that’s a good thing because you’ll be forced to focus on the quality of your Tweets rather than the quantity. The folks at Twitter recommend you do this.

Belle Beth Cooper of Buffer reports that using images in Tweets boosted their engagement rates by 18%.

Fire up your graphics solution (Canva, Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, or Sumo Paint) and create graphics quickly that are relevant to your Tweets.

When you do, they’ll look like this:

What’s a Tweet Without a Hashtag?

 

Frederic Lardinois of Readwrite.com notes that after analyzing billions of tweets, a team from Sysomos found that only 29% of tweets ever get a reaction. Only 6% of these tweets are Retweeted within the first hour of the tweet going live.

If you’ve been spending an hour everyday on Twitter just sharing your content, others’ content, and re-tweeting others’ content, plan to spend another hour for getting into conversations. The best way to make your tweets live for more their designated lifetime is to get into conversations.

Get into conversations, nimble and smooth. Leave your comments, post your reaction, contribute with your insights, and give away your valuable suggestions.

Don’t be afraid to say what you want to. Most conversations start with (#) hash tags and here are a few resources to help you delve into the world of hashtag-triggered conversations on Twitter:

Hashtags.org
Tagdef
WhatTheTrend

Also, find a way to hack your way into conversations. If you were into digital marketing, for instance, use hashtags like to get into instant conversations with people looking for answers.

#socialmedia #help
#socialmedia #question
#emailmarketing #help
#emailmarketing #question
#contentmarketing
#inboundmarketing
#digitalmarketing
#landingpages
#PPC #SEO #SEM #Blogging

You get the drift, don’t you?

Make use of Twitter’s ecosystem

 

Twitter, thankfully, has its own ecosystem of tools and directories for you to make use of. From Twitter analytics to Twitter directories, you have everything you need to automate, semi-automate, or just make your job easier.

Start with any of the directories below:

Twitterholic
FollowerWonk
Connect.Me
LocalTweeps
TweetFind
ExecTweets
Wefollow
Twellow

Play with Content Curation

 

If you love content curation, you may also curate content and semi-automate updates using:

Tweeted Times
Paper.li
Scoop.it
Curata
Last.ly
Headslinger
Spundge
JuxtaPost
Pearltrees
Bundle
EverPost
LinkedIn Pulse
Pocket
Prismatic
Newsle
Storyful
Magnify
Shareist
Summify
CurationTraffic
Mass Relevance
BagtheWeb
iFlow
Trap.It
Postano
PostPlanner
RebelMouse

Many other tools are available for social analytics, social trends, and social signals. If you’d like to manage your Twitter account (along with other social media accounts), you could use HootSuite, Social Oomph, SendSocialMedia, Sendible, and Buffer for Business.

As a measure of appreciation, You may share this report with your friends, acquaintances, staff, and business associates.

4 Social Media Tools That Hugely Benefit Your Business

4 Social Media Tools That Hugely Benefit Your Business

Do you really need social media tools? Oh yes, you do.

Social media is big but we all know how it sucks time out of your already busy schedule.

Organic marketing doesn’t directly contribute to your ROI (but it does so indirectly and is one of the major parts of the what I call as the digital marketing spectrum).

You can’t really put your finger on how social media contributes directly to your bottomline, and get that.

No one ever said that everything you do in business has to directly put cash on the table. Blogging, social media, and email marketing also help boost your brand value and help maintain authority in the niche your business operates in.

That’s what it does. It’s a new way to build your branding.

When you send that Tweet out, people notice you even if that tweet lasts for just about an hour. Your Facebook posts still get views, and so do your videos.

But you do want social media to work for you and contribute in some way, don’t you?

Here’s how you make it work for your business with a few of these tools:

Google’s UTM Generator Tool

 

Wondering what a regular Google UTM (Urchin Tracking Mode) is doing on a list that was supposed to be dedicated social media tools?

You wouldn’t want to put out a single social update or a link anywhere without the UTM URLs. Google’s UTM generator helps you churn out a specific URL that helps track where the traffic is coming from.

While you’d still get to track sources and mediums that generate traffic for your website by directly looking into your Google Analytics data, you’d not want to take a chance. Instead, you can stay in control by taking that little effort upfront and track your sources.

Go here, bookmark the Google URL Generator and use it for every medium or source you use to generate traffic.

Snip.ly

 

Snip.ly has been around for a while and I’ve always advocated using Snip.ly while you post updates on social media so as to lead traffic to specific pages or landing pages you’d want them to visit.

Snip.ly helps with a dedicated bar (with a CTA) at the bottom (or top) of every page that you’d share on social media even if what you are sharing isn’t really your content.

Now, consider this:

For all our clients, we advocate the 50:30:20 principle to follow on social media. What this means is that:

Out of 10 updates on social media (all networks), you’d share, post or update this way:

  • 50% (Or 5 out of 10) updates from all other non-competing sources of information with links on social profiles. In our case, we’d be sharing anything about digital marketing from online sources like moz.com.
  • 30% (or 3 out of 10) updates with content from our own blog or other content marketing pieces we publish elsewhere (including Youtube videos or SlideShare slides)
  • 20% (2 out of 10) updates are strictly related to engagement, casual talk, connecting with others, etc.

In this typical scenario, you are posting/sharing/publishing at least 50% of all the updates that are not your own. Which means that if you use snip.ly for every external piece of content you share, you’d have that much chance of getting traffic from all of those updates daily.

HootSuite Or Buffer

 

Social media might be big and important. If you don’t focus and be careful, you’ll find that it can suck all the time and productivity out of your busy schedule.

You can’t afford to log in and out of your social networks all day long. Plus, given that an average social media update’s life is just about an hour, you’d have to post many updates just to be visible and generate enough impressions to make an impact or be known or become popular.

That’s why, you’d need to use Hootsuite or Buffer to help schedule posts in advance. This frees up your time for all the other things you’d need to do.

Brand24

 

If you marginally popular, you’d start seeing people mention your brand. They’d often discuss about your brand and there might be full-fledged communities around your brand. Plus, there are also random mentions about your business or brand that you’d miss if you are not monitoring your social presence all the time.

As if social media itself wasn’t a major time suck by itself, monitoring every single conversation around your brand will potentially wipe out days and weeks off your calendar.

But there’s a smarter way to monitor your brand. Use Brand24 and make your job a wee bit easier. Brand24 allows you to monitor all your social channels, mentions, conversations, and more.

How You Got Your Social Media Strategy Completely Wrong

How You Got Your Social Media Strategy Completely Wrong

Social Media lets every business communicate, relate, and build a network of passionate customers.

Most businesses, however, are too busy “wasting time” or “resisting it”.

You don’t have to like “Social media” to make it work for you, or your business. No one cares whether you “favor” it or not. There’s not going to be a huge pile up of cash just because “you thought” that “this is what social media is”.

Social media just is.

It’s there for you, whether or not you intend to use it.

Social Media does more to your business or for your personal branding than you think it does.

Smart Insights reports that Facebook has over 1.71 billion users. Over 30 billion content pieces are shared on Facebook each month. Each user spends an average of 15 hours 33 minutes a month on Facebook alone.

Twitter, on the other hand, handles 1.6 billion queries while adding more 500,000 users per day. Google + has about 300 million users already.

Admittedly, social media is in. This is the era of Interaction.

People like you, get influenced by you, swear by your content, and link to you. Traditional marketing just got whipped.

The chances are that you got social media all wrong. You thought it was a “medium” like magazines or newspapers are.

Social media is much like a private party with the “privacy” replaced by “global connect” at scale.

  • You don’t get on social media to “sell”
  • The more you push, the more the media pushes you back.
  • Pitch and you’ll be frowned upon.
  • Expect sales, and you’ll be disappointed.
  • You can’t really measure Social Media ROI

There’s “Social” In Social Media, as Jay Baer of Convince And Convert puts it.

You are doing it all wrong if you ever tried:

  • Putting in the time and effort on Social media and thought you’d make money out of it (you might, but that’s not the point of being “social”)
  • Hiring an entire team to drone away on social networks hoping to get ROI.
  • Buying your way to get “fans” and “followers”.
  • Looking for product sales on social media.

Don’t get me wrong. You’ll get traffic, you’ll be able to push your brand into visibility, and you’ll eventually make sales. Think of all that as bonuses when you get out there.

The primary reason you should be on social media is to connect — To engage. To communicate. To build a community of people who share common interests or have enough emotive to join conversations that relate to the problem your business solves.

I must say I loved The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business.

Tara Hunt is the co- founder and CEO of Buyosphere. She is also one of the 25 Women-led Startups to Watch in Fast Company (2011). I recall that she calls the whole humdrum of social media, networking, communities, and the collective power of social capital as “Whuffie”.

How powerful is that?

Her book itself is a result of community power. Further, the book cover came from the Whuffie, so she says. Social media is here to stay and you’ll be comfortable if you found yourself a lofty corner to be perched at. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are huge and can be intimidating to everyone.

It doesn’t have to be so. You can literally announce your arrival.

This is how you do it:

Give, and then take

When I wrote a guest post titled “5 Simple Secrets to Social Media Success“on Andy Nathan’s Blog, I couldn’t help but mull on this little aspect about social media. It’s strikingly obvious that no one cares about you, at least not right away.

It could be downright depressing and blunt to hear this. Really, everyone out there has something else to worry about and the last thing would be you.

That’s why shift your intentions from “taking” to “giving”. Don’t ask for anything in return (you might want to make requests here and there) but give information and share valuable resources. Write and then share your blog posts, Facebook Fan Page updates, and Tweets.

More importantly, be there to help. Your social networks — together — must be the sum total of all that you give.

When the time is right, what you need is right there for you to take.

Be Generous

When others within your community or network such as fans on Facebook and Followers on Twitter or LinkedIn share something, promote those tweets or updates.

Promote them like they are your own. It might not make sense to you now but when others see that you promote their content, they will eventually want to reciprocate. Check your Klout score regularly and give +K to people who’ve influenced you on your network.

As TechCrunch makes a point, Nobody gives a damn about your Klout score. Use it to benchmark your progress, donate +Ks to people as a sign of gratitude. Just don’t think that high Klout score is some- how going to make you rich.

Be a leader and Follower

Most beginners come with the intention of learning from the community and implementing it for themselves seeking a reward of some sort of fame, recognition, money, etc. You can’t lead without following. You can’t make to the top without crawling your way up from the bottom.

While some do it right, most do it wrong.

You can follow and “like” as many people as you like. Just don’t think all others out there are better than you or worse than you.

As they say, there’s always something to learn from others. It just happens in real time on social media.

Social Media is a level playing field

On Social Media, some people out there are better than you. Most aren’t. There are individuals, professionals, small businesses, medium businesses, and large corporations. I trust that you have things they don’t. They know about stuff you don’t. That’s why social media – and the Internet itself – is as empowering as you want it to be.

Lead from the front. Make it a responsibility to educate, inspire, and share with your followers. If you are a business – irrespective of the size of your company – you are an expert poised to solve people’s problems.

The good news is that the field is open for you. The bad news is that you have to work to get somewhere worth going.

Social Media Strategy? Forget that. Just Be Yourself

Caroline of Retargeter writes on social media done right, and she advocates the need to be YOU.

You are a lifetime’s worth of who you are. You are special (and I don’t care if you agree or disagree with that). There’s nothing more original in this world than you saying, “The grass is greener on the other side” in a way that only you can say.

That’s where the real magic on socal media happens. Depending on what you are on social for, your voice will resonate. You will be heard. People will follow you. They’d love you.

When you fake it, your tricks will eventually grow too big to fit in the decorum of normalcy. Your true colors will show through. With stakes in business and reputation, you can’t afford to do that, can you?

Focus on a clutch of sites

The sphere of social media is huge. Not every social media site will work for you.

For us, Foursquare really means nothing to since it’s more geographic specific. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook work best for me. I am still wondering how Google + fits in.

B2B businesses find Twitter and LinkedIn working for them. E-commerce businesses swear by Pinterest and Instagram in addition to the regular ones, and B2C businesses can’t have enough of Facebook.

For some businesses outside the U.S, Yelp will not work.

You get the drift, don’t you?

Less is more

Much like the Pareto’s principle, “less is more” is proving to have universal connotations.

Doing too much of anything can only hurt you. Don’t rush your Twitter account with 120 Tweets a day because it’ll look like spam (in spite of your apparent enthusiasm to share).

Don’t deluge your Facebook Fan Page wall with 20 messages a day (you don’t need to). Also, you don’t need to post every day on your blog (content quality suffers as frequency increases).

No one cares if you do it more or less. Everyone does care about the quality. Pick your number and stay committed, and that makes a difference.

Publish Long-Form When You Can

I often go on calls to meet clients to discuss strategy and social media inevitably drops into the conversation. Apart from getting all the expectations wrong (that they possibly can), they also say things like:

“LinkedIn Publishing? I don’t care so much about writing there”

“Why bother with Medium when we have our own blog?”

Now, here’s the thing: few opportunities exist for you write at length or launch podcasts or share videos on topics you are passionate about.

These are outlets that others expect you to “write. Speak. Show and tell”.

It helps with personal branding, it helps build bridges to connect, and it’s another way to showcase authority and build credibility.

You could have written a LinkedIn post instead of asking that question, you see?

Are you getting your social media strategy right or wrong? Tell us about it.

 

 

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