5 Tips on Managing Social Media for Entrepreneurs
Posted by Pierre de la Fortune on July 31, 2015 @ 12:01 a.m.
Written by Rod Kirby
Before we take a look at some ways to help you manage your social media activities, let’s explore why you’re doing it in the first place. I call it . . .
This is the cornerstone of your social media and networking activities. In order to make a return on investment one has to first understand why he or she wants to invest in it. I’m sure you’re thinking, “to make money, Rod, duh!” Money is fine and dandy, but what if I told you that by engaging with people online you could get something better than money? That’s right! What could be better than money? How about someone’s trust and favor? What about building a relationship that could net you the repeat business of that one person and all of their friends? This is the simple yet powerful truth of social media.
Someone’s influence online can be just as or more effective as a 30 second advertisement on Television. In traditional media you only have a limited time to catch a prospect’s attention and pitch them your product or service. By maximizing social media time becomes your friend and not your enemy. The longer you build a genuine relationship with people the easier it is for them to trust you which is the equivalent of gold and silver. If you want to learn more about building relationships and trust in social media I highly recommend Chris Brogan’s new book, Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. For the uninformed, Chris is a rock star of social media and has built a loyal following through his blog and social media activities.
Now that you have a better understanding of why you’re engaging in social media in the first place let’s move on to . . .
The first building block of social media is actually networking with like-minded individuals. That’s where Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Myspace, Ning sites, and other networks come in. I highly recommend Facebook for building deeper relationships, Twitter for instant communication, news, and sharing, and Linkedin for an overall professional web presence and business networking.
Tip#1 - Don’t join everything!
There are some that would disagree with me on this, but I believe you should only join a site that you’re going to devote time to actually being on. When people reach out to you on sites that you’ve joined but don’t maintain you’ll reach back too late and miss opportunities. I recommend that you choose 3 main sites that you’ll be able to update easily and maintain. My top three picks are Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin for the reasons specified above.
Tip #2 - Create a Social Media Plan!
Having a Facebook page or a Twitter account is great and all, but don’t forget that they’re still platforms for marketing yourself, blog, products or services. So include social media into your marketing plan. Go at it with a plan and set realistic goals like generating web traffic, increasing your email newsletter subscriber base, or sell X amount of product units per month.
Tip #3 - Integrate social media tools!
No matter where you are or what you’re doing you’re able to update your blog, your Facebook page, or Twitter status in a matter of minutes. That could be via phone, computer, or even email. Learning to integrate tools on a regular basis is the key to maintaining your sanity with it all. Maximize web applications like;
* Ping.Fm – This site updates all your social networks and blogs at the same time. It really takes the hassle out of logging in and doing it all “manually.” Note: When update all your status at the same time, you loose the “engagement” element that makes social media work so well for business. You’re there in spirit but not there in presence. I only use this service for letting my networks know of new blog posts or universal messages. I stay active on my social networks beyond using it to keep my level of engagement high.
* TweetDeck – Excellent desktop application that allows you to manage your Twitter, Facebook, and now, your Myspace accounts at the same time. Each account is managed in a window all within the application. Very versatile tool that allows you go beyond the Twitter website’s functionality and keep the same functionality of the Facebook and Myspace sites.
* Google Reader – If you’re new to social media, you’ll be reading a lot of websites and blogs that can help you increase your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in that area. Read them all in one spot via RSS (Really Simple Syndication). In short, RSS allows a website to send new articles to RSS reader programs. Which means, you’ll get new stuff without having to visit every website in your bookmarks! Visit Google’s Reader site, Subscribe to The Success Center, and you’ll instantly start receiving new articles when they’re published. Also, you can Follow Me in Google Reader where I share lots of articles that I find helpful and informative.
* Google Calendar – This is a great tool to help you organize your blog posts, web content, events, and life in general. I’ll explain more on it in Tip #5. * Web Browser Extensions + Plugins:
1. The Hootlet – Once you’re on twitter you’ll want to share news, articles, blog posts that you write, etc. instantly. Hootsuite is a browser based twitter manager with a twist, they actually track your tweets. So you’re able to see how many people click on a link you shared that goes back to your website. I don’t use Hootsuite’s website for my twittering (as I use tweetdeck now) but I do use their “Hootlet” browser plugin that allows me to share on twitter from my browser. It’s extremely useful.
2. Facebook Share Button – Similar to the “Hootlet”, you can also grab the Facebook share button which works with any web browser as well. Just as the name implies you’re able to share any content with your Facebook network no matter what browser you use.
* Mobile Applications:
1. Blackberry – I’m a “crackberry” user and abuser so when I’m out and about and I need to send a quick update, I use Ubertwitter. It allows me all of the functionality of the Twitter mobile website plus, retweeting, search, following, and unfollowing. Facebook App – The Facebook application has come a long way. It gives you access to your Facebook “stream” with status updates, pictures, etc. One unique feature is it syncs up your friends with your phone book so you’ll have numbers at the touch of a button plus their profile pic. Unfortunately, you can’t access your in-box, but you are able to send messages. Viigo – This priceless tool allows me to get all of my Google Reader feeds (or websites) on my phone. So I’m never disconnected or out of the loop when it comes to the blogs and websites I subscribe to. It also has a twitter client built into the app for easy updating, weather, news, and more. Give it a try. WordPress for Blackberry – I actually just found out that there’s a WordPress app for Blackberry in beta. I haven’t used it yet, but will definitely give it a try.
2. Iphone – Tweetdeck – same functionality as the desktop version . . . smaller package. Facebook app – I hear that the blackberry and Iphone versions are a bit different, but none-the-less, a valuable tool for staying connected. WordPress for Iphone – yep, you can blog away while you’re on a long plane ride, at a meeting, or even live event.
Tip #4 - Invest a hour a day
If you’re a super busy entrepreneur, like most are, try penciling in a set time of day that you can relax and write a blog post, respond to comments on Facebook or Twitter, and share information that you find on the web. I’ve been a web junkie since I was born so I’m on the net “working” for hours at a time naturally. If you’re more strategic and structured than me then a set time might help you to develop good social media habits.
Tip #5 - Plan out your website or blog content
I can’t stress enough how important it is to create an editorial calendar for your website or blog. Most entrepreneurs create a “static business card” of a website and all this does is tell people who you are, what you do, and what you offer. If you really want to build relationships and earn sales, teach people something unique and share it with the world. This is the essence of blogging. Some of my clients take to it extremely fast and others are like, “how in the world do I fit this into my daily routine?” The answer is two-fold; first see Tip #4 and second, plan out your articles in a monthly calendar. This will keep you organized, on-track, and you won’t be stuck trying to figure out what to write. Here’s a short video explaining my process for creating The Success Center’s editorial calendar. I use Google Calendar to schedule my posts. This keeps everything organized and I can also access my calendar on my phone while I’m mobile.
These 5 tips are a reflection of the strategies I’ve employed to help me manage and maximize social media for my business. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of tools I’ve listed. A tool is only as useful as it’s handler makes it. Somethings will work well for you and some won’t, they key is to test, try, and try again. What tools do you currently use that should of been added to this list? If you have a handle on social media, how are you managing it? And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to cast your vote in the poll below.
For more info please visit: http://under30ceo.com/young-entrepreneur-advice-100-things-you-must-know/
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