Thursday, February 26, 2015

Find The Time to Win The Social Media Battle

Find The Time to Win The Social Media BattleOne of my Facebook friends recently posted this message:

This is how people find you nowadays!

In the early days of the Web - and even before the Web - when only a few people controlled the publishing of information, businesses could focus on a few specific promotion channels. Before the Web, this would be brochures, flyers, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and so on.

Then the Web came along, and businesses turned to the online equivalent of the brochure or flyer: the Web site. You promote yourself, your products and your services; and then do everything possible to get a high ranking in Google.

That's great, and is still important. But it's not enough. Social media gives everybody power, and people find you now through all your online channels - including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogs, newsletters, and personal referral.

The truth is this: If you're not active on social media, you're losing business.

But the challenge is this: How can you find the time to do it all?

The answer: Contribute regularly, but not always your own material.

The top social media influencers in the world blog at least daily (and many of them more than once a day), and spend most of their time online. If you have the time to do that - or to pay somebody else to do that for you - great! Go for it.

But most of us don't have that sort of time. So, instead of always looking to create new material, look at other ways of demonstrating your expertise online. Broadly, you have four options:

  1. Comment with value: Look at what other people are sharing, and comment on it, but in a meaningful and useful way. Don't just click a Like or Share button. Instead, publish a book review on Amazon.com, write a meaningful blog comment, contribute with something useful on a Facebook post, and so on.
  2. Curate with context: Share other people's material with your network. You can do this by sharing links to blog posts you read, YouTube videos you watch, podcasts you listen to, e-books you download, and so on. Of course, your followers could find that material directly themselves, but you're taking the trouble to read, filter and share only what's relevant to them. In other words, you're putting the context around it so they know it's right for them.
  3. Collate with perspective: Look for patterns in the world and bring them together in a relevant and meaningful way for your network. It's your job as an expert to take a "big picture" view of specific things and point out patterns that others don't see.
  4. Create unique material: Finally, of course, you do need to generate and share your own ideas. Publish them on your blog and YouTube, and then distribute them through social media platforms.

Use all these four methods - commenting, curating, collating and creating - to build a powerful social media presence.

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