BetterInBoston wrote in with a really common question – with so many social media sites out there, even considering the few really well-known ones – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ – seems overwhelming. How do I know where to begin?
Well, before I answer, I’m going to expand the question just a bit to include those who are already on at least one social media site, but feel like they’re not getting the results they hoped for.
So, how do you know where to be and how to be when it comes to social media?
I’ll let you know right off the bat that the answer to this is one of those things that is “simple, but not easy,” at least for some.
- Realize that social media is just a super convenient way to get your message/product/service out there by word-of-mouth. Your primary purpose in using social media should NOT be advertising, or trying to get the attention of an as-yet unknown population. That is a secondary effect, not a primary purpose.
- If social media didn’t exist (it didn’t until VERY recently, remember?), you would still rely, to some extent, upon word-of-mouth. And word-of-mouth begins with those who already know you, right? Right. SO…
- Where, in the social media world, are your clients/people who already know your work? Don’t know? ASK THEM! You see and/or communicate with these people in-person or on the phone/Skype, etc depending on your business, everyday. (If you’re not talking to enough people everyday, that’s a question for another day. Short answer – get out there!)
- Here comes the hard(er) part, depending on on who you are and your perspective: stop caring about the number of fans/followers you have or think you should have! The number means absolutely nothing without their engagement. Think about it this way – you hold a free workshop/event and 50 people show up. They seem to enjoy themselves and report that they like what you have to offer. In the next 2 months, you follow up with each one of them via email, postcards, even phone calls, and not one of them responds even once. Your colleague holds a similar, free event around the same time and 10 people attend. In the couple months following, all 10 of those attendees have remained in contact, become clients and at least one has already referred a friend. Which scenario sounds better to you?
Bottom line? Understand what social media is good for and take a relational approach to connecting online!
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