Many businesses give up on social media. Some never even try it. Why? Because it can be the biggest time waster or all time.
Firstly there are the distractions. Whether it’s the skiing wipe-out videos, the latest celebrity gaff or just the cute video of your niece’s first steps, many social media platforms provide an endless stream of stuff to watch or read. So, even though the intent was to stay focused on business, it is so easy to go off at a tangent when trying to come up with your next stunning tweet or post.
Secondly, you have to sit at a screen and interact. You have to come up with stuff to post, things to say etc. etc. And not just once or twice. You have to be at it all the time, or so it seems if you look at what the (supposedly) successful users of social media do.
Thirdly – which platform? There are so many. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube……. The list is seemingly endless. Where do you spend your time most productively?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and instead of engaging, to recede into inactivity.
You need a social media strategy
What you need is a social media strategy. Then you create your content and plan your posting and interactions around that strategy. So rather than staring at the screen wondering what to do first, you have a clear schedule of what, when, how and to whom.
But how do you create your own social media strategy? If it was that simple you wouldn’t be struggling in the first place, right? This is one of the first things I tackle with all of my 1:2:1 and group coaching clients. Without a clear strategy you’re no different to every run-of-the-mill business owner and you’ll be spraying random content around the internet hoping to attract attention. And none of my clients are run-of-the-mill business owners!
So we start by working out who we are targeting with our social media activities. Where do those targets hang out. Which platforms? How can they be identified? The clearer you get on your target audience, the easier it is to find them.
Once you have identified them and worked out where they are, you have to serve them interesting, useful content and engagement in their environment to entice them to come and join you in your environment. You are looking to persuade them to become part of your network, your following, your tribe. Depending on the audience you may not be able to persuade them to switch to another platform, so it might be a case of bringing them to your part of their existing platform. Your own Facebook group might be one example.
That brings us to deciding on your own environment. Where do you want to bring people to? What are the key components of your social media world? I recommend my clients to have LinkedIn as a core part of their social media world. LinkedIn provides the ability to showcase your skills, knowledge and expert authority through
- Having a powerful personal profile that delivers real value to the reader though downloads, videos and posts
- Interacting with and commenting on other people’s status updates, posts and group discussions
- Demonstrating the value you bring to clients through summary and experience sections that focus on the benefits of working with you
And all this is can be backed up by independent recommendations from past and current clients right there on your profile. What other people say about you carries so much more weight than what you say about yourself.
Your powerful personal profile is there for all to see and a reference point to prove your credibility in your market place. LinkedIn may not be the place to attract attention or even be the mainstay of interaction with your audience, but it needs to be there to provide that bedrock of credibility.
With the anchor point of your LinkedIn profile, you can then you can use posts, tweets, pins etc. to get noticed and drive interaction, knowing there is always the link back to your profile to demonstrate your expert authority.
For me personally, I use my LinkedIn profile alongside my website with my blog and service offerings as my core platforms. I then use posts and tweets on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to engage my target audience and encourage them to join my e-mail list. That way I secure the right to market to them.
To find out more about creating your own social media strategy and how you can leverage LinkedIn at its core connect with me on LinkedIn and then message me to set up an initial discussion. Be different, be outstanding.