People who don’t work in social media think you’ve got it pretty easy, huh?
What do you even do all day? You just play on Facebook and Twitter?
Go ahead. Yeesh along with me. One… two… yeesh.
Of course, if that line of thinking doesn’t make you cringe, then there are probably a few basic steps to the whole “effective social media” process that you’re missing.
#1: Check in
And I don’t mean on Foursquare. Check in on your social media accounts. You know that expression “Out of sight, out of mind?” If you’re not making an effort to be present on your social media accounts, your fans and followers aren’t going to pay much attention when you do show up because you’re not going to make much of a lasting impact.
I know: you’re a busy person. If you find it difficult to find time to be consistently active on social media sites, you have options. Let some of your employees help out, for example. If you really would rather that all of it be in your hands, then you need to schedule time – 20 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes over lunch, and a half an hour in the evening, say.
The bottom line: in order for your social media to be effective, you need to show up.
Social media is a great way to interact with those who support your brand, share your content, or have questions or concerns about your product. Make sure that you’re replying to as many comments as you can, regardless of whether they’re on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else. Show that you have an interest in what your customers and prospects have to say.
Spend a little bit of time each day just listening. Don’t get me wrong – interaction is super important, but it’s not everything when it comes to social media (nothing is everything; there’s a balance). While you can invest in some really excellent tools for listening and monitoring conversation about you, your brand, products, industry, competitors, and so on; you can also listen in quite a bit with free tools such as HootSuite or TweetDeck.
Listening can really provide you with invaluable information about your brand perception. Ignoring this crucial step is ignoring a chance to improve, no matter how well you’re already doing.
#4: Share others’ content
No one will fault you for sharing your own content through your social media channels. What you want to avoid, however, is broadcasting your own material and nothing else. There is one exception to this rule: if you’re a news source, then it’s expected that you’ll be broadcasting.
Assuming that you’re not an official news source, you should take care to share others’ content in addition to your own. This shows that you’re supporting your peers’ and colleagues’ work, and that you’re interested in the industry itself, not just what you have to say about it.
Remember: no one likes a social media egomaniac.
#5: Comment on others’ content
I probably don’t need to tell you that comments are the way to build community. They’re also a good way to get out there in the social sphere and meet some new people. You never know when those new people could become new clients or business partners. Think of it as a kind of networking.
Each day, commit to commenting on a certain number of blog posts and try to stick with the conversation as it unfolds. As you become more comfortable with commenting, add more blogs to your commenting circuit.
Remember, though, to leave meaningful comments. There are too many people who hop from blog post to blog post leaving comments that say things like “Great job!” or “Loved this post!” with absolutely no explanation as to what they liked or how they could relate. They don’t add anything to the conversation. In truth, a lot of those people are just after the link juice.
Earn your link juice with relevant comments and build some new relationships in the process.
#6: Practice Social Media Writing
There’s a line between writing on social media channels and writing for social media channels. Practice learning social media writing. That is, learn how to craft content, status updates, tweets, and so forth that will really pack a punch. How can you concisely create compelling content that will encourage clicks? (Can you tell the alliterative mood just struck me?)
I also want to give blog titles a shout here. If all of your blog titles are really vague and never the slightest bit creative, you’re going to have a difficult time getting people to read. As you’re practicing social media writing, practice blog titles that are neither too long nor too short and include keywords and phrases for your topic.
#7: Show some personality
If you think about the people and businesses that you following across various social media sites, I’m sure you can think of the ones who are really straight-laced and all businesses, as well as the ones who exhibit more character and personality.
People like to see the personality behind the default picture, so don’t be afraid to be yourself. You should, of course, always be professional and appropriate, but you can do that while showing some character. Be personable and make it interesting for your viewers.
What would you add to this list? Drop us a comment and let us know!
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