4 Social Media “Basics” That Can Transform How You Do Business

Had to “reboot” a device recently? Like your smart-phone or computer, your social media content strategy needs an occasional reboot.

The reboot is a cleansing feeling really. By now (hopefully) you’ve ventured into the surf and are discovering how useful social media is for engaging with not only your friends but colleagues, clients, and prospective ones.

It’s time for a “reboot!” Let the following back-to-basics information clear the fog and get you back on track.

4 Social Media Basics for Transforming Your Business Connections

1–Publishing

In social media, publishing takes many forms. A blog post, a YouTube video, a Flickr photo and album.

And of course, an informative 140-character “tweet” on Twitter, a Facebook post, and now Google+linked to an archived article or blog post.

Variety is the name of the game for social media publishing. Consider how you can maximize your personal or business publishing.

Just thinking of yourself as a “publisher” may be your first strategic step.

Don’t picture publishing as a time consuming, laborious task that requires endless days of writing, editing, etc. (Understand, it does take time.)

Remember, social media publishing means engaging your “tribe” (in this case your personal and/or business followers) with relevant content that addresses and answers their questions, needs, concerns.

2–Interacting and Sharing

Engagement is the way of relationships in social media. How one-way are your connections on social media?

In marketing most are used to having a more offense-oriented game plan. You call a marketing play, such as a direct mailer or a radio spot.

You execute the play hoping to gain some yardage. And in some instances you have and will.

The social media approach is different. You engage your clients and prospects through a varied use of social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, a blog).

They comment, share, and post your useful data on their various social media channels. That’s how engagement begins to work.

Evaluate the nature of your current marketing approaches alongside social media. Compare how much interaction you’re receiving as result.

If the engagement return is low (and probably will be by comparison), take a dive into social media. You’ll notice the difference – often much sooner than traditional approaches.

3–Networking

Sure, it’s socially enjoyable to commute to a lunch meeting, exchange business cards, and hope (after a follow-up communication or two) to land a new client. It’s worked for years and won’t soon cease to exist.

Now consider the efficiency of networking from the comfort of your office, a coffee-shop table, even a chair on the beach…and connecting with hundreds, even thousands!

Social media multiplies your networking capabilities a hundred-fold! And many of the people who connect with you at levels removed from direct contact with you could benefit from your content, products, and services.

A Twitter follower who reads one of your “tweets” linked to useful content, “retweets” (if you’re unfamiliar, think of it as forwarding an email) it to their list of several hundred (or thousand) followers. One follower, who just-so-happened to be in need of what the content addresses  contacts you. Viola! And that’s just the beginning of social media networking.

4–Selling

According to social media expert, Nick Usborne, “Making sales can be an important part of social media strategy, but it would be a mistake to focus on this as a primary goal. What social media does best is facilitate publishing valuable content, sharing, and networking.”

Think of social media as a vital first-phase strategy in your sales and marketing force.

Think outside the box like 1800Flowers does by selling through its Facebook page or offering coupons through a social media tool like LivingSocial and Groupon.

If you’re a location based business, use Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Gowalla as a tool to encourage people to “check-in” when they’re on site.

These social media based actions can prime your target audience for sales. But remember social media’s sweet-spot is publishing valuable, relevant content that enagages others.

>Do a quick reboot with all you’ve learned and practiced to date with social media.
>Evaluate your progress with these 4 back-to-basics core qualities of social media.
>Act on each with a few changes this week.

What successes have you had with social media? If you’re not using it consistently, what would help you be more consistent?


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