Remember the good old days when marketers and entrepreneurs made it a point to attend every possible event to “network” in the hope of getting new business or potential leads. For some like me, this was a chore – you would go off to an event – scan the room, draw your aim and then fire at the most unsuspecting target. Except that this lone soul standing alone at a corner was just that – another brick in the wall. If you got stuck with a group, thoughts shifted to finding the perfect excuse to making that quick getaway! And the endless exchange of business cards just made it all seem so much like – wait for it – WORK! And who wants to do that after a long day at the office!
Well how times have changed! Today, we have social media – one of the best, if not the most contemporary means of meeting new friends and communicating. Many people around the world are using social media, not just to communicate but also integrate various debates on issues that affect our daily lives, work, and well, the whole world.
No one can deny the power of social media. It’s been known to sway opinions and shape politics. Think the “Elect Obama Campaign” and you’ll know what I mean. Almost everyone is on social media these days. This certainly is one medium that cannot be ignored. It impacts the way we think, what we do, and what we say. The future is no longer in your hands – it is at your fingertips.
Social media is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website or blogs and boost your rankings in the search engines! Before we start to analyze the two big social sites (Facebook and Twitter) though, perhaps we need to align our thinking to that of President John F Kennedy and what he once said, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, what but you can do for your country.”
In other words, you need to stop thinking about yourself and what’s in it for you, and ask what you can do for others. This is what social media should be about. With social media marketing you have to start thinking about what’s in it for your readers. Everybody who has done any marketing on the Internet has heard time and again that what search engines want is quality content. The key for using social media in your marketing is to provide quality content that ultimately turns you into a much sought after resource. So, while this may take lots of hard work, remember it is better to give than receive (don’t worry, you will reap your rewards soon enough!).
So let’s talk about how to drive more traffic to your business via social media. For starters, it takes more than people liking your picture on Facebook.
Some Useful Tips
When we are interacting and being social on social media, we get to know new people and learn new and great ideas with just a click of a button. In short, the distance does not matter. What matters most are your social skills. And you will find that most people are more extroverted on social media than in person. This is the best place to socialize, sharpen your social skills, and in turn, you get to learn, share and expand both your personal and professional horizons.
Excite and Engage
When interacting on social media, take the opportunity to express yourself in an exciting and engaging way so that you can attract more friends and friends of friends. These could potentially turn out to be business leads or at the very least, you get to expand your base. I have often clicked on the names “new” friends to find out more about what they do, where they work, and then check out their websites – perhaps there are areas of mutual interest you could collaborate on – or you could offer your services and vice versa.
The more you make informative, exciting and interactive contributions on social media the more responses you are likely to receive.
First Impressions Count
If you need to be social on social media, be prepared! Know your stuff. It is important to keep in mind that when making the slightest contribution, you have to be sure of what is going on. This is because first impressions count – or you may end up damaging your reputation instead of building it up. To grow your list of followers, make it a point to always stay abreast of developments in your field and keep with the buzz. Don’t just strive to be a leader, strive to become an expert resource.
If you want to be social on social media, you have to keep up with mediums like Facebook and Twitter regularly – these two are among the most commonly used around the world. But don’t ignore the opportunity to participate or share your views on other social media platforms like Linkedin Pintrest, YouTube, mobile apps, and news platforms and related forums online. The more you put yourself out there, and share your thoughts in an exciting, knowledgeable and thought provoking way, the more you will connect and grow your followers, and even get introduced to others.
Whether you like it or not, in business, social media is the way to go. It is indispensable. Everyone is there and almost everything you read or watch will tell you to go to their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. Just remember – when you’re using social media as a marketing tool you need to have a home to welcome your visitors. Your blog is a perfect base to send your new social connections to and grow your presence.