It has become easier and easier to stay in touch with clients, colleagues and customers. Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, Google+ shares, and numerous other channels enable us to share our thoughts as fast as we can think them. We are constantly staring at a screen, fingers flying in a mad dash to update the world.
The most effective social media messages, though, do more than just remind your readers you exist: they engage the audience. It’s not enough to just have views, you want people to think about, comment on, and share your content.
Photo Courtesy of Olympus Board Shop
One way to generate interesting content is to do interesting things. As our country celebrates its independence, I encourage you to free yourself from your computer, tablet, and phone and go out and DO something! Find something that inspires you, interests you, or try something new – whether personally or professionally.
Social media platforms are a great tool for building your business, but one of the keys to using them successfully is to listen.
1. Listen to Your Audience
The three most important factors in social networking are audience, audience, audience. Identify what kind of people you’re trying to reach and pay attention to what they’re saying. Build RSS feeds and monitor conversations using listening tools like TweetDeck, Social Mention and Seesmic.
2. Join Specialized Networks
Whatever your passion, there is a specialized social network for you. To find your niche network, run a Google search with “your topic” and “social media“. For example I googled “cooking social media” and the first result that came up was “Top Five Food and Cooking Social Networking Sites“.
Every year at this time I reflect on the goals I set the year before and begin to think about my goals for the coming year. I know I am not alone; just about every blog you read this time of year is filled with 2013 projections and goal-setting advice, including making your goals attainable (or easy to achieve.) How’s that working for you so far? For me, not so much.
Perhaps doing the opposite will actually prove successful this year. I propose we set some goals that may not be so easy to achieve and some that won’t directly benefit us at all. Here are 3 not-so-easy goals to consider for the coming year.
Tackle something you’ve been avoiding. Is there something you’ve been avoiding or struggling with that you’d finally like to cross off your list? Whether it’s opening a business, starting a blog, firing a client or losing 10 pounds, it’s time to make a plan and get it done.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re not only the brains behind the operation, you’re also the brawn. Try this easy workout routine to flex your small-business muscles.
Monday (30 Minutes)
Do some market research. Search Google for your business name, professional name, industry and local news. Make a list of 10 things you can respond to, add your expertise to, dispute or promote to your customers. Repeat on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest if you’re so inclined. The more aware you are of how your customers behave online, the better your ability to reach them.
Tip: Use Google Alerts to monitor this on a regular basis.
Wednesday: (30 Minutes)
Share your expertise. Take steps to respond and react to the 10 findings from Monday. Don’t forget to tap into the power of photos and videos as you go through your list.
Tip: Always have a camera nearby—even if it’s your phone.
In May, I received an email from someone I follow and whom I consider a colleague and my entrepreneur cheerleader. His name is Mike Michalowicz and he is the author of “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” – that is how I first came to know him. His email was asking me to be a part of something big with him; he was in essence assembling a team of freaks to help create buzz to launch his next book. Freaks? Buzz? Business Books? This was so me.
I read his first book years ago, loved it, and bought a copy for a friend of mine. I even had the privilege of speaking with Mike on the phone once after reaching out to him for clarity on one of the book’s exercises. Seriously, he got right back to me and scheduled a time to talk me through it! He’s a good egg.
So I signed up to become a Buzz Warrior for his new book “The Pumpkin Plan”. It seemed easy enough, tweet here, share there, snap a pic or two and share the love.