No matter where in the world you go you will be able to find people tweeting, posting, liking, poking, and tagging – all virtually, of course. Social media is an ever growing part of society and is being utilized by millions. The internet is more than a place to research information, or have a website. It is a place to create and foster relationships.
According to an article in PR Newswire, a recent study shows that one out of every six marriages is between people who met through an online dating site. That means 1/6th of marriages are because of social media. And it is not just romantic relationships that are being sought after through online networks. A wide variety of other networking sites allow people to create relationships in many forms. For instance, Facebook allows people to stay in contact with old friends and family. Lack of time is a big reason people loose contact with loved ones. Sending a “hello” through Facebook is a lot easier and less time consuming than picking up the phone, yet still allows communication to be made and relationships to continue. Social networks are also being used professionally. LinkedIn, is a site that provides a way to network with people that you have done business with in the past, as well as current and potential contacts. With the click of a mouse, LinkedIn profiles show potential business propositions any references and recommendations that you have. Facebook and LinkenIn are just a couple examples of the hundreds of sites aimed at growing webs of networks for every faucet of life. So what does this mean for running a business?
People communicate through social media in a variety of arenas (romantically, socially, and professionally). So why not reach clients the way they want to be reached? But using social media as a business tool is more that just creating a profile. Here are some tips for starting your social media strategy.
Limit your networks:
There are a lot of different social media networks out there and if you use too many, you will become overwhelmed. Start with one, and expand to two or three if you like the results. It is best to start with the networks that your clients or potential clients are already using. Do some research and see how many clients are on Facebook or Twitter, as they are the top two networking sites in popularity.
Keep your private life private:
Keep in mind that whatever you post is going to be public forever. Use discretion, and know that photos from your personal life may not reflect well professionally.
Once you are start, you can’t stop:
There is nothing worse than following an inactive tweeter, or someone with no recent activity on their Facebook. Make sure to update regularly. A few times a week should suffice. But also keep in mind that there is such thing as updating too much. Don’t tweet or post a Facebook update more than once a day.
Market your profiles:
Now that you are up and running on social media, make sure to include your Facebook and Twitter addresses on marketing materials. It shows your clients that you are up with the times and is just another way that they can reach you.