"Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships."
- David Alston, Salesforce
It’s a basic need of any individual to be socially active. We all know that social networking is important to your success. High schools, colleges, fraternities/sororities, workplaces, sports teams, and community and religious groups give you friends, colleagues, associates, and acquaintances --- this is basic social networking.
My best advice for business owners and entrepreneurs is to use social networking as a way to build many links to different types of people. When you share your unique knowledge, you make connections and build your community online, beyond the people with whom you normally interact.
I recommend you truly understand what makes you and your company unique, then articulate this whenever you share. By sharing your knowledge and your uniqueness, you make additional connections with colleagues and ultimately increase your community of people who refer, recommend, and do repeat business with you.
Getting Started – Share your Knowledge
Get clear on yourself. Ask yourself the purpose of your organization. The world needs your real self, so share your specific skills and talents and the standout qualities you bring to your business.
Do some research on any top businesses. Do you know why they are at the top of the search results? If it’s for “games”, or “healthcare,” or “education,” or even a phrase such as ours: “Best Web and Mobile App Development- We’re your technology partner,” their content and links remain relevant to those topics.
As a simple grounding principle, present your real self as much as possible. If your ultimate aim is to be in the top 10 results of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, then use available tools to promote your desired key phrases, including blog posts, podcasts, website, reviews, videos, profiles, and automated posting.
If website visitors understand you as a genuine source, and you effectively demonstrate the mastery of your knowledge, you’ll increase the chance of landing your sale. If somehow you’re not seeing enough of your “real self” online, increase your authorship: upload more pictures tagged with your name (or your business name), promote more events, blog more about topics under your area of expertise, and provide insight into your process and services. These actions will all increase views on your profile.
Tip 1 – Organize Your Data Including Username, Keywords, and Key Phrases
The first thing to do is to claim a unique name for your social profile: for example, my username is “monicadear” Your name plays a vital role in overall social networking. Claim it by registering that username on all social networking sites - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to start.
For your domain name, register the .com, .org, or .co with GoDaddy.com. If you’re just getting started, use wordpress.com to claim your name, i.e. monicadear.wordpress.com: with WordPress you’ll be able to create relevant blog posts on your company and values. Medium.com and Tumblr.com may also work.
For your digital presence, describe you and/or your business, share your profile picture, links, bio, interests, background, and activities, and post on a regular basis, even if it’s once a quarter.
As an extra tip, set up a “catchall” account on Gmail and have any comments or contact requests forward to that e-mail account.
- Prepare a central list with your organizational goal, mission, description, and key “phrases” to describe your business
- Claim names related to your business, i.e. personal name, business name
- Create an organizational and/or individual description
- Schedule regular posting activity
Tip 2 – Share your Knowledge and Expertise
Content is the soul of your business website presence. If your content is easy-to-understand, goal-oriented, and explains all about your business, then if someone is searching for you, they will receive a clear picture of what it’s like to work with right from the beginning.
Here are some questions for presenting yourself:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Where does someone find you online?
- When are you available?
- How does your business benefit customers?
- What is your unique value proposition / what makes working with you special?
- Who are your target customers? (for example, I prefer working with women entrepreneurs)
Make your answers short, clear, and precise. Visitors will review your profile and content, visit your website to know more about your products and services, and take the next step – your call to action – to engage with you and your company.
When you organize your online social content, use specific keywords and phrases to get the most out of every post. Remember to get connected with the people you meet! Maintain your networks over time. Add an action to the bottom of all your posts, such as “contact us” or “download the PDF” or “attend our upcoming event.”
Checklist for every post –
- Keywords and key phrases
- Posts answer “Who, What, Where, When, How”
- Why choose us?
- Call to action (link to contact form, invitation to upcoming event, download white paper, call us) on every piece
Tip 3 – Keep it Simple
Keep it simple when deciding what to post for your ongoing Twitter feed, LinkedIn updates, and Facebook statuses. Posts might be as simple as what you’re eating for dinner, to as your new white paper, upcoming event, speaker engagement, or other ongoing business activities. Tools like IFTTT and RSS feeds help you in queuing up content to post.
Connect with your community of clients by developing a fixed schedule and a helpful routine. Consider organizing “roundups” with these routines, and you’ll increase the opportunities to connect and work on projects that interest you.
Ideas for your routines –
- Monday Motivation
- Tuesday Tips
- Wednesday Wisdom
- Throwback Thursday
- Friday Brag Day
Hire a social networking specialist to smooth out your activities and keep you on track. Try group posting, where multiple owners may post to the same centralized account. Or do a “takeover” for influencers who align with your brand.
Tip 4 – Just Do It
Take it step by step: if you’re getting started, claim your user profiles and start posting. If you’ve already claimed your business profile, implement more automated tools to increase your posting schedule. Carve out time to create original content.
If your online profile is informative, completely reflects who you are and where you’re located, and explains in detail how your work benefits your customers (include testimonials!), then potential clients easily identify if you’re a good fit.
- Answer basic information about your
- Cover your timing, availability, and process
- Address frequently-asked questions
- Discuss your overall objective (mission, vision, and values)
- Refer to the big-picture “goal” for your organization
- Keep it simple
As a final note, make an effort to follow up with anyone who comments, likes, connects or asks further questions. It’s important to be as helpful as possible with sharing your knowledge as you build your community of clients.
A Final Word ---
These are just the basics, but social media has brought us a long way and we still have some distance to cover. With the help of social networking, you’ll better target your audience, find new followers, engage with them, and make true relationships that lead to your profitability and prosperity.
Feel free to contact us for a quote on managing your social media profile.
All the best!! – Monica S. Flores
Founder and advisor Monica S. Flores builds digital products to support a socially just, environmentally sustainable, equitable society. Since 2004 she has supported US-based & global membership groups, non-profits, public agencies, and startups on how to best reach their online communities. She leads & manages large-scale web development projects, including redesign, refactoring, and digital platform buildout, and she is focused on how to make a positive difference through technology.