When it comes to using social media, even the most advanced users can stand a bit of advice now and then. Here are some of my best tips to help you connect with potential customers through social networking.
1. Be a Good Listener. Just like at a cocktail party, you want to show that you’re interested in what the people you’re talking to are saying. Don’t make it about you. Listen and respond.
2. Set Up Searches. If you use a tool like Hootsuite, set up a stream for keywords you want to track, including your company name and that of competitors. Pay attention to who’s tweeting about these topics.
3. Use Hashtags Judiciously. You’ll #seepeople on #socialmedia who go #overboard with the hashtags. Only use them if you want to categorize your update under that hashtag. Does it provide value to people who follow it?
4. Vary Your Updates. Don’t just autopost links to your blog content or promote your product. Engage directly with other users one-on-one, ask questions, and dive into conversations.
5. Provide Value. Everything (well, most of it) coming out of your Twitter stream should provide value to your followers. Be a content curator and only share what you think is worth reading.
6. Follow Others. While you shouldn’t follow everyone who follows you (you’ll find many people mass-following, regardless of their interests) you should check out your “Following” link in your Twitter account from time to time and reciprocate where relevant.
7. Vary What You Post on Different Channels. Don’t post identical content on G+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Give people a reason to follow you on each channel.
8. Share Others’ Content. Social media is all about playing nice with others. Do that by sharing their content. They’ll reciprocate.
9. Grow Your Network. It stands to reason that the more followers you have, the more people will see your posts and click your links. So be proactive at growing it. Make sure your social links are easily accessible on your site and elsewhere.
10. Keep at It. Social media isn’t a one-time fix. It’s an ongoing effort. But it’s time worth investing. The larger your network and the more active you are, the better results you will see.
For more tips on using social media smartly, please attend our free webinar, “Getting Started in Social Media,” on December 3, 2013, at 10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern.