I hear the entrepreneurs I work with say ‘I don’t have time to do social media, because I’m too busy in my business.’ This usually changes when they learn some of the long-term benefits of using social media and, if they just don’t want to invest the time, they can outsource this task to a social media manager.
The first step is to decide the actual value of social media. You need to recognize the short and long term value of using social media for your business. Explore the benefits for your business, your brand and your target audience. Ask yourself these questions. Can you reach out to a bigger audience? Are you going to be able to engage with your current customers better? Do you answer the questions of your target audience? Are you actively listening to what they say? Are you able to discover the problems and needs of your target audience? You may already provide products or services to your ideal client but are you fulfilling 100% of their need? If you get your finger on the pulse of what they’re really thinking, maybe you can adapt your business and grow to solve more of their problems.
If you’re not doing these things, you need to, actually get out and engage with your target audience. You can do this by asking questions on a social platform or setting up question and answer type of surveys. You need to put it in your schedule and follow through. Once you have implemented this process, you just lather, rinse, and repeat.
Recognize the value of networking. Make a list of both the short and long-term benefits of networking for your business. Remove the idea of social networks and stop thinking about Facebook for a second. What are the short and long-term benefits of getting out in the real world, networking and talking to people? Think about it from a business perspective and a personal perspective. What are all the different benefits to you when you meet these people?
When you go to a live networking event, you get out there and shake hands. There are so many amazing opportunities that come out of that, whether it’s business partners, potential customers, learning of events you should be attending, or possibly speaking at. You may discover problems in different markets that you didn’t even know about, and start thinking, ‘Man, I could create a product to solve that problem.’ There are so many cool things that happen when you get out and network and talk to people. Make a list everything you could possibly think of that is a benefit of networking.
Review all those benefits, type them out nicely and put them on your wall so that you remember, ‘Why I need to network with people.’ and, more importantly, ‘Why I need to network with people on social networks, because it’s quicker.’
Once you understand that, put it in your schedule. Make a commitment to do it. If you can’t do it every day, then how often can you do it? Is it once a week? Is it twice a week? You really need to make this a commitment so that you can devote enough time to receive measurable results down the road. Once it’s in your schedule, just make sure you stick to it – consistently. So if it is twice a week, do it every single Tuesday and every single Thursday or whatever schedule you implement.
Now that you’re ready to jump on social media and take off, you need to be sure you follow the rules. Read the posted rules on each platform you use. Take some time learning common practices on each site. It’s important to adhere to these rules so you’re not labeling yourself or potentially painting your brand in a negative light. There are a lot of people that will immediately spot you and call you out if you’re doing it wrong.
There are also unwritten rules, and you need to understand what they are and what to avoid doing, so that you don’t become one of ‘those people.’ The most important one is to follow the same rules online as you would offline.
The Golden Rule of Social Media is online or offline, the same rules apply. If you’re out at a networking event, or at a seminar and you’re on break, going for a coffee and you’re starting to shake hands with people, what would you do in those situations and what would you not do? You look for people that are not busy and approach them and start talking. You introduce yourself. It’s a networking event. You don’t want to wait for people to come to you, so you aggressively go and talk to people and they love it, because they were probably waiting for somebody to make the move. Then, once you get that conversation going, maybe you shake their hand, say who are and where you’re from. Do you immediately pitch them on your MLM business? Not at all. If you do that you probably won’t leave a very good impression with the new people you’re meeting.
The right way to network is to get to know them a little bit. Ask them some questions, both about their business and about general topics. Sometimes you really hit it off with people and you find out you went to the same high school. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure to present yourself as a professional. Online is the exact same way.
Of course there are some things you should not do on social media. You probably will see someone doing these and will agree, they are just annoying.
· Don’t start hard selling people the minute you meet them, or even the next day. In fact, don’t hard sell people, period.
· Don’t spend all day talking about yourself.
· Don’t just talk about business, be personable.
· Unless this is really your style, don’t go out of your way to embarrass and poke fun at people inappropriately, especially people you’ve only met virtually through social networks.
· Spam. This is usually a rookie mistake. Don’t spam the same message on and on. It’s not going to work, and it’s going to get you un-followed really, really quickly.
· Don’t ignore your social media profiles. Only create profiles and participate in networks where you’re going to make the time for it. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality.
· Remember, most social networking situations are public discussions, unless you’re sending a private message between you and another person.
See how you can incorporate this tips and watch your status on social media grow.