Thursday, October 3, 2013

5 New Fixes For Your Social Media Campaigns

Post It NotesThere's no doubt that you need to be active on social media, but are you doing it well? If it's taking too much time and effort, and not giving you enough of a return, perhaps it's time to re-think your strategy. Here are five small - but significant - adjustments you can make to your social media plan.

1. Be more social.

Whether you call it social media, social media marketing, or social networking, focus more on the social side of it and less on the media, marketing, and networking. No, this doesn't mean you should share family photos and cat videos! It means you use social media with the intent to build connections and help other people. Forget about tying every tweet, post and update to some marketing campaign or product launch. Instead, use it to genuinely connect with people (as people, not prospects).

2. Pick your battlegrounds.

Find the social networks where you can make the biggest difference, and focus your participation efforts there. This is unlikely to be your own Facebook profile, LinkedIn network or Twitter followers. But it might be a particular LinkedIn group, a specific Twitter hashtag you follow regularly, a private Ning community, or some other discussion forum. For me, one such place is ThoughtLeadersCentral.com, where both my colleagues and clients hang out. It allows me to help out colleagues and peers, and in turn that demonstrates my expertise and authority.

3. Solve their problems.

Keep your eye and ear out for problems, concerns, issues, questions, goals, and aspirations that people mention in social media. If you can help out, do so. If you can refer them to somebody or something else, do that instead. Don't always be looking for opportunities to promote yourself; just be genuine, sincere, and helpful.

4. Share other people's expertise.

Be a curator (filter) of other people's material, and share it with your network. You should already be reading blogs, watching videos, listening to podcasts, reading books, watching slide shows, and so on as part of your own professional development. Some of this material is appropriate to share on social media, so share it. Just be sure you do it with permission (for example, by using a link, rather than the original material itself).

5. Blog.

Finally, make a commitment to blog regularly (at least once a week, preferably more). Your blog is the hub of your social media efforts: Everything you do elsewhere should be copied into your blog, and your blog posts can be distributed automatically to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and some online communities. Every blog post is a Web page in itself, so blogging also helps raise your profile in Google's eyes. Apart from anything else, blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise in small but well-considered chunks, and that helps to build your reputation.

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