Getting the most out of Social Media

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social media info signsThink of Social Media Platforms as ongoing network or trade show events.  When you are at a trade show, do you stop by every booth and share your business card with the person at the booth and ask for their card in return, especially if you only plan on spending a half a day at the show?

At a networking event, do you treat the event as a contest and see if you can obtain the most business cards from different businesses?

The answer to these questions is no of course because in both cases those are the wrong approaches to take to be effective.

In each scenario, you are going with the idea of gaining new information or making a sale with a specific company or introducing yourself to a particular perspective client.

This is how I  approach social media each day.

  • It is impossible to spend your entire day online trying to connect with people.If I am wrong here, please let me know who you are and what company you work for.
  • Set up some key word searches on each platform and look for discussions with respect to those key words. Google+ and Twitter are really good platforms to use for this approach.
  • Check out different platforms throughout the day. Linkedin and Facebook are good places to check out throughout the day and join in on some discussions or build connections on these sites by sending out invitations to potential clients or conducting searches and sending invites to people meeting your specific objectives.
  • Don’t get carried away and try to maintain your profile on too many sites.  Stick with a few sites and look to improve your presence each day by being interesting, responding to people’s posts that call out your name and being present during discussions.

No one said you had to talk to or follow everyone that follows you. You want to find the right people to follow who could be potential clients or good profesional clients.

The other thing I have learned with respect to making the most of your time on social media sites  is the following:

  • On Twitter, call out someone in particular @NAME – If they are an expert in a subject like social media, ask them if they have seen any new developments in 2012? People like to connect with other people who ask great questions and are looking for more information.
  • On Facebook, write directly on the person’s wall. This way, the person will see it and know you mean business by writing on their wall.
  • On Linkedin, share an article, a blog post or some information about your company or what you are currently working on.
  • On Google+, mix up your posts by sharing your content with a limited audience and public audience. Use formatting like bold and italics to highlight different parts of your message.

The key here is to attract new readers. If this is not your goal, you may want to reconsider using the platform. Even if you just broadcast some information, write the information in such a way that it suggests a follow-up action.

Picture via The SeaFarer