What makes social media so significant? In a nutshell, it allows rich two-way interactions-the kind that we could only have face to face until recently-over the Internet. It fosters meaningful connections based on our interests and personalities and greatly widens our circle of influence. In the context of our businesses, social media greatly increases the effectiveness of our marketing and promotion efforts.
Whether you use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media sites, you will get the best results by participating on a daily basis.
Wait a minute, you may be thinking. How am I going to add this to my already very full days?
You don’t need to commit huge blocks of time to your social media activities. And, in some cases, you don’t even have to be at your computer to participate. Here are some ways you can include social media in your day without tearing out your hair in frustration:
- Devote 5 or 10 minutes to your sites of choice in the morning and afternoon, and book this time into your schedule.
- Prepare updates in advance; in the case of Twitter, you can even queue up messages to go out on a predetermined schedule.
- “Hook” your platforms together as much as possible. For example, you can set up your Twitter account to update LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Plaxo automatically. One update can go four places at the same time!
- For a larger effort such as uploading videos to YouTube, treat it like a project. Set aside time in your calendar and list out the various tasks that need to be done to complete the project. Set this up a recurring activity so that your content will be refreshed periodically.
There are many social media tools available to us-more tools, in fact, than can be listed here or that you can ever or should ever use. The tools that are the best fit for you will depend on which types of social media you are participating in. In other words:
- Assess tools based on your objectives and conversations that are taking place.
- Don’t start using something just because it’s shiny, new, slick, or popular.
- Only embrace tools that facilitate conversations with and between the people you want to reach.
Social media is here to stay, and it needs to be a part of your marketing program. Join the conversation in an authentic way, and you will see great returns on the energy you invest.