1) Are you active on social media? Answer: Yes
2) Do you post your blog and other information on social media? Answer: Yes
3) Are people talking about you and your company? Answer: Yes
4) Do you have conversations on social media with other people? Answer: Yes, I engage with other people through chats and discussions
5) Are you actively talking to others on social media by creating a dialogue with your clients? Answer: Well – Maybe, sometimes
You see items 1-3 are similar to the way the public relations process works. You are broadcasting your message one-way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method. It is the way a lot of companies use social media.
Item 4 represents another approach to using social media. This is where a number of social media experts say that they engage with other people on social media. A number of people have conversations on Facebook or Twitter with their friends and co-horts. Again, its like going to a big networking event or seeing people you know at the store or at school or church. Being social is important in today’s world.
Item 5 represents the biggest challenge for all of us. We need to create content and have a dialogue with people who are actively seeking our information and looking to possibly conduct business with us. I am always looking for ways to get on people’s radar and start a conversation. I use this blog site to help me connect with some of the top marketers from around the country. At my company site, I am looking to address client’s needs and look for potential markets that people may be trying to find.
I used to feel that you needed to spend a lot of time on social media sites like Twitter and Linkedin to find clients. This type of work can be very time-consuming and frankly not the best use of time. What I have learned in the process is that people are looking for their answers to questions online. They may try to find it through conversations on Twitter, Facebook or GooglePlus but they too, are running into a lot of conversations like items 1-4, especially 4. There is so much public chatter that it can be hard to separate good information from the thousands of conversations.
My advice to you is to approach the conversation online like you do in your personal life.
Create a personal profile and connect with only the best of the best on social media platforms. Why would you want to be friends with everyone? Carefully study people’s profiles and determine which people you think might be a great resource for information and might be interested in you as a person and/or your company. When I reconnect with someone, I always go to their personal profile to see what their interests are. I am always amazed when people do not list an accompanying personal blog or website. I think people are missing a great opportunity to develop connections at a deeper level.
Point people to places where they can read more about you and the way you think. I have a personal site, this site and a company site. Each site has its own purpose, and content is written from a particular point of view. I have a real passion for each site and I think this helps people realize where I am coming from.
For me the conversation starts with content and for me that content begins with a blog site. People may like a particular post or article and if they want more, they can go to the site for more. This is how I try to keep the conversation above the noise.
Item 5 is where you should be spending your time if you want to take your social media marketing to a new level. It is easy to get caught up in items 1-4 and those are important, but to be a difference maker you need to see some results at the dialogue level and if you do, I guarantee you that you will see results.