Busines social mediaA little while ago, we discussed the implications of signing up for social media platforms only to neglect them.  Is this due to the fact that most people simply don’t know what to say or how to say it?  With the array of options available today – particularly for small businesses, it’s more important than ever that they understand and leverage these tools. I thought this article by Jeffrey Gitomer was very timely and relevant: What should I tweet, what should I post, how should I link?

In the article, Gitomer points out that “Most people don’t know what to say on, what to do on, or what to do with social media. And it’s a club with more than 700 million members.”  He goes on to outline some helpful suggestions including:

  • Stop thinking of it as social media, and begin thinking of it as BUSINESS social media.
  • What will help your customers produce more, profit more, understand what’s brand new in the market, improve morale, improve attitude, and/or improve their life. Then write about it, tweet about it, and post on Facebook about it.
  • Why not create daily/weekly/monthly value messages that your customers would find so interesting and informative that they would save them, print them, put them into action, and forward them to others?
  • All business social media is interconnected. You have to do ALL of them consistently to gain effective results. And you have to do all of them well if you expect to monetize your efforts.

I think Gitomer provides a very rational approach to utilizing social media.  While consistency, messaging, and value proposition are all important, there is also a strategy in connecting with the appropriate audience.  You could have the best tweets, comments, and suggestions to offer, but if nobody is listening, how effective are they?

As a precursor to this article is the topic how to network with the appropriate business audience using social media.  For many people this is fundamentally more critical than the messages being sent.  The first step is determining which social media platforms are right for your business or personal use. Select the combination of outlets which you can maintain.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  While some of these tools are easy to integrate with services such as Twitterfeed, the proper time should be taken to set these communication channels up properly.

Next is identifying and connecting with your unique business audience.  Don’t just stalk and link to prospects with whom you are trying to close business opportunities. Connect with people who share similar interests or view points.  Connect with partners and customers who can also share experiences.  Connect with and/or follow competitors.  What better way to monitor intelligence and stay competitive.

In closing, don’t use social media as simply a vehicle to announce your specials or flavor of the day.  People see right through that and will lose interest quickly.  Be genuine, and as Gitomer stated in his article, add value and be consistent.