Getting started, and then finding the routine and discipline to post updates and build relationships on a regular basis can be tough, when there are so many pressures on time.
Here are seven tips that will help you approach Social Media in a more consistent way, to build your network, and gain marketing and sales related benefits as a result.
Social Media for Business should be consistent and regular
To develop the habit of regular social media posting consider it as you would your daily commute or journey to work. Whatever mode of transport you use, the significant factor is that, like most people you make a return journey, to travel to and from work, every day.
Updating Social Media twice a day will provide the regularity that will build your Social Media presence, contacts and relationships remarkably quickly.
Within days the habit will become easier, as you become more familiar with the steps and the journey.
The rewards of arriving at work and back home again outweighs the effort, as you settle into a positive pattern, and it’s very similar with Social Media for Business.
Making the Social Media commute more interesting
Once your commute has become familiar and routine it becomes less stressful,and frees up attention for people and activities around you. It is the unusual that you notice that livens the commute and also social network updates. These parallels may prompt some ideas for Social Media.
- The journey may not run to schedule – so there’s some news for colleagues and family. This in itself may not be that interesting, but there may be a particular story that unfolds that you can recount. Are the social networks and forums you use changing?
- You may spot something in the papers, or hear some news on the radio that you want to share. You can do this through social media too. Highlighting and sharing topics that you are interested in gives people an insight into your passions.
- You may say hello in passing to people you meet on your journey. Saying hello, commenting or replying on social networks will start and develop relationships.
- You may have a ‘big idea’, inspiration or other thought while you commute that you want to share and take action on later. Again, this could be something to share through Social Media.
Taking an active interest in what’s happening around you during the commute is a great analogy to taking an interest and sharing about your personal and business interests through social media.
The benefits of regular Social Media updates
In a similar way to having an objective for your commute (ie. getting to work and then getting home), having an objective for social media will keep you focused. It will also help you to identify benefits, use time wisely and find short-cuts.
Here are three goals you might want to aim for:
- To build your personal brand. In business we all develop a brand, or a reputation, whether we intend to or not. We do this by sharing our interests with others, through what we say, and don’t say, from the way we say it, and especially through what we do. On a personal basis with mates you talk about your family, hobbies and interests and so on. Add to this your business interests and related topics and you start to position yourself in your professional and business market. Having a Social Media Profile, and making sure it reflects you in a positive light, is very helpful when people look for skills and check you out online.
- To build your personal and professional network. Maybe on your commute you get chatting with someone, find a common interest and decide it’s worth exchanging business cards. Online, the equivalent would be making contact with someone through a network such as LinkedIn or Focus, and agreeing to connect, either develop an idea, or at least be able to contact each other again.
- To have people talking about us with their contacts. Going further, perhaps the person you met decides to pass your card to a colleague who would find your skills useful. In social media this is the equivalent of people visiting your profile on LinkedIn or on other networks through a referral.
Marketing yourself and your business through business social networking is similar to your commute. If you use the networks twice a day, post news and updates that shows your character, your professional interests and knowledge, and you are approachable, then over time people will get to know like and trust you, and your network will grow and develop.
Within days or maybe weeks you should be seeing benefits in one or many ways, ultimately leading to deeper relationships with customers and business partners, leads and new business opportunities.