Social Media Tips Everyone (Including Businesses) Can Use
To celebrate America’s birthday, the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, we’re offering you fifty ways to be a bright star on social media and to show your rocket’s red glare.
- Determine how you want to present yourself on social media. Before you dive into the social media pool, think about your personal brand. Will you try to keep your personal and professional lives separate?
- Remember anything you post on social media can become public or get shared without your realizing it. As I advise my nephews, consider that something that appears fun or harmless today may be viewed differently when you’re applying for college or a job.
- Set up a personal social media account on the major social media platforms. You’re building your own digital/social media footprint. Include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
- Create a business page or profile on major social media platforms. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
- Show up on social media regularly. Schedule time for social media interaction. This way you don’t spend hours on social media without working towards any goal.
- Skip the me, me, me. Face it, even your mother doesn’t want to know that much about you or what you’re doing. Like your followers, she cares more about her interests than yours.
- Become known as a resource. Help others on social media by paying-it-forward.
- Be original and give credit where credit is due. Don’t copy other people’s work.
- Update your status regularly on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. But space it out.
- Promote your social media presence. Beyond reaching out to family, friends and colleagues. Let people know where they can connect with you on social media in your emailings, blog, on business cards and other places online and offline.
- Start a blog. Many people overlook the fact that a blog is social media and owned media. Post at least two to three times a week to leverage most of the benefits of blogging multiple times a day.
- Share patterns and recipes on your blog. Give prospects a reason to buy your product.
- Mobilize your blog. Make sure that it renders on a smartphone or tablet.
- Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts and other website content. Make it easy for visitors to share your content as it yields earned views.
- Create a podcast. Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner believes that this is the media format of the near future. Include it in your blog.
- Slice your blog post into a set of tweets. This enables you to share your blog post differently over time.
- Made your images pinnable. In fact, go one step further and incorporate a useful data graphic in your blog post to encourage sharing.
- Use Click-to-Tweet to make data points or quotes easily tweetable. This encourages sharing of your blog posts.
- Leave comments on your favorite blogs. Write thoughtful contributions to the conversation. BUT don’t use this as an opportunity to paste your URL on other blogs!
- Respond to comments on your blog. Every blogger wants comments. By responding to each one with a thoughtful answer, you’ll double the number of comments and encourage others to join the conversation.
- Start a Tumblr. This is particularly important if you’re targeting a young demographic (teens and twenty-somethings) or if you have a visual product.
- Show customers how to style your product. Customers seek information regarding how to use your offering. Use Facebook, your blog, Tumblr and Pinterest to strut your stuff.
- Encourage visitors and customers to like your business on Facebook. Include a call-to-action on your website, emailings and blog.
- Share photographs that are relevant to your business on Facebook. Make it fun and personal.
- Spotlight your customers on Facebook. Alternatively, you can get them to share their photographs of your product. This works well for crafts. Ford gets customers to share photos of their old Ford cars.
- Advertise on Facebook. Micro-target your message.
- Respond to customer questions on Facebook and Twitter. Let customers know if you have limited hours or they’ll expect you to be there 24/7.
- Curate useful information on Twitter. The goal is to become known as an expert. Schedule your tweets through out the day.
- Participate in a Twitter chat. Show that you’re a member of the community. This is a time to interact with others in real time.
- Start a Twitter chat. This is useful to help build your thought leadership. Understand that it can take time to gain momentum.
- Incorporate hashtags into your tweets to extend your reach.
- Test out Vine. Give your target audience real time info they can use.
- Reach out to colleagues with a note. Make your connection personal.
- Write reviews for former colleagues on LinkedIn. Again, pay-it-forward.
- Use LinkedIn to fill open positions. It’s one of the most common reasons small businesses use this platform.
- Join LinkedIn Groups to expand your network. Become an active participant.
- Put yourself in film—well, at least video. Start a YouTube channel.
- Tape videos at tradeshows. Don’t forget to add searchable text.
- Interview experts on video. Post these videos on your blog and on YouTube.
- Establish your authorship on Google+. This says it all.
- Hold a Google+ hangout. Test out this platform for your business.
- Ask customers to rate and/or review your products. Use your post-purchase follow up to get customers to come back. If you’re nervous about what they’ll say, then you need to engage with customers and resolve any issues first.
- Share presentations on Slideshare. This is useful for businesses as well as solopreneurs looking for work. Bear in mind that Slideshare isn’t only for presentations!
- Include hashtags in your presentations both live and online. Expand your reach beyond the event.
- Establish a presence on Instagram. Show the beauty in your brand and products. Also, check out their new video option.
- Don’t overlook Flickr, the granddaddy of image sites. It can provide another way to get backlinks by requesting that people who use your images link to your site. (BTW—Facebook is the biggest repository of photographs. Think baby pictures.)
- Answer questions on Quora. Help others by responding to questions.
- Monitor ratings and review sites. Think Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon and others. While not always considered formal social media (is that an oxymoron?), they provide public interaction and sharing. Additionally, they’re often entryways to your products.
- Use targeted social media platforms. Depending on your interests or business focus, niche social media venues can be very useful. My favorite is Ravelry, a community dedicated to knitters, crocheters and spinners.
- Test the new, new social media options. If you’re one of the cool techies, it’s useful to continually test new venues. (BTW—Ian Cleary does a good job of this on Social Razor.) Among the newer platforms are Snapchat (big with the teen set,) and Potluck.
No matter how you celebrate your independence on social media, please remember to be nice. You never know how someone at the other end of your communications may interpret your interactions.
What other social media tips would you add to this list and why?
Have a wonderful holiday!
P.S. We won’t be publishing on Thursday, July 4th since we’ll be enjoying the real life fireworks.
P.P.S. The title of today’s post is from this list, in case you’re looking for inspiration.
Join me at Social Media Marketing World this coming Spring in sunny San Diego, California, where I'll be presenting a session on Blogging.
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Photo Credit: Sneakers of independence – (c)2013 Heidi Cohen – All rights reserved. Image may be used if linked to this article.