The Social Media Stretch

on Dec 10 in Brand, Social Media Strategy by

Why you shouldn’t over extend yourself with social media & how to start

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Everyone gets it now. All companies, organizations, nonprofits, etc. need to have social media in order to be heard and

found. That’s great, but the social media graveyard has become a tedious mess with abandoned accounts of folks who have overextended their efforts. Unless you can and do hire someone who can maintain all of your various accounts, brand them foryou and interact with others in those spaces, you are simply wasting your time and everyone else’s by creating multiple facebook pages, twitter accounts, linkedin groups, blogs, youtube channels, review sites (like Yelp!), etc. etc. etc. Here is what we recommend, even if you do hire someone to help you do stuff.

Start Basic – Facebook & Twitter: The Dynamic Duo

Begin with a Facebook and a Twitter account. Start this way so as to train yourself for consistency. You need to generate consistent content and ideas that you can focus and expand upon later. Make sure these pages are branded appropriately and that you have completed profiles on both. Some folks question, why do I need both? Because…

You use Facebook to build your brand around the customers you already have, get them to “Like” your page and start giving them a reason to want to have a conversation with you online. Remember that conversation is the purpose of social media, and for those concerned about the bottom line, conversation is what tends to lead to conversion.

You use Twitter to find new folks, and keep tabs on what is going on in the social media realms that pertain to your business. Disseminating your own, unique information is very important, but people use Twitter to share hot, trending topics. Create lists of people to be aware of what they are talking about and add your expertise to the mix. There are a thousand blog articles on how to use Twitter, so we won’t waste on that here. We are telling you to take the new news you find on twitter and incorporate your own spin on it that draws people back to the more substantial interactive platform of your Facebook Page.

What about YouTube & LinkedIn?

If you have YouTube videos to share already, then take the time to brand your own YouTube channel and get your video content up. Be sure to have your Facebook & Twitter pages up and running first so that you can share your video with as many people as possible who are already interested in what you have to offer. In posts linking back to your videos, be sure to encourage everyone to share & like them as well. There’s really no point in creating a YouTube channel until you have your content, unless you are an avid YouTube watcher who likes to leave lots and lots of meaningful and effective comments.

Abandoned Mop BucketLinkedIn provides your company with a professional profile. It is a great tool for connecting with other business professionals and looking for new employees, but in terms of social media, this is a tool that takes a lot of time and energy. You have to find groups to join and become an active participant in discussions where you provide useful and necessary information to garner clout for you and your company. It’s okay to have this presence without joining in group discussion, just make sure you are pulling in your twitter feed and monitoring your account for correspondence. Leaving an inactive LinkedIn account lying around is a very poor reflection on your company.

Blogs, Directories & Reviews

The blog is a very, very, very important tool for a company, but it is probably one of the hardest things to maintain. Your blog has to be fresh and interesting. Rewriting other people’s posts as your own will definitely come back to bite you. Not posting will hurt you. Poorly constructed posts will hurt you. Blogs used to simply advertise will hurt you. A blog is a platform of passion. You have to be passionate about what you are blogging about, giving fresh perspective on your subject matter each and every week. If you are good at consistently cranking material that’s a little more in-depth and then have the ability to monitor the comments people make, then you should get started right away. We think it’s a good idea to create a 2-6 month game plan for your blog before you start. Also, you have to brand you blog like the rest of your company or organization. A blog is an indispensable tool, but one you cannot just leave alone for months on end. A stagnant blog leads people to believe you have a stagnant company.

Eventually you should be involved with a few very well-known directories. As you come across them, see if you can submit to them. Limit the number of payed directories you submit to because the return is not necessarily there. Some directories have reviews, while others are simply good for link-backs to your website and SEO purposes.

Review sites are a tricky thing. They want honest reviews from real folks who have used your service or bought your product. You have Facebook followers, give them an incentive to review you (regardless if those reviews are good or bad) in one or two places. We think it’s more to your benefit to have a heavy amount of reviews on Yelp & City-Search for example rather than 1 review here and there all over the place. Also, by having the majority of your reviews in a couple of spaces it’s easier to monitor them and see what folks are saying about you.

Build it right the first time

Social media can take months to develop, and then it becomes a machine you have to maintain daily. We strongly recommend hiring someone to help you navigate, develop and monitor your accounts. There is a great article from Mashable that talks about Reverse Mentorship. So, steady as she goes, don’t be afraid to step into the water, but don’t dive into the deep end without knowing how to swim first.PenguinDive

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