By The Portland Egotist / /
What’s the first thing you do in the morning when you get on your computer? Most likely you check your email and catch up on the news from your favorite websites or blogs. With the continual aggregation of web content over the last few years, millions of people get their information from social media sites that provide email, news and up to the minute updates on any topic under the sun.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other sites have changed the way people disseminate information and interact in their everyday lives. The sites you subscribe to and the thoughts you post define you… as a connection, a customer and even a thought leader. If you have a product or service and you are not using social media to reach out to the masses you are missing a huge opportunity.
How can you leverage social media to work for you? I’ve got five easy ways to help you take to your social media presence to the next level.
1) Pump Up Your Profile
Unlike the ever-growing content that you create and share on social media sites, your profile page remains sadly static for the most part. This is fine if you nothing about you has changed. Some social networks don’t require much in the way of updates to your profile and that’s a shame. Although maintaining your Twitter profile requires very little updating, Facebook and LinkedIn give you the opportunity to change your profile. That’s a great opportunity to address what you’re thinking about or what’s important to you at the moment. From talking about a job promotion to showing new portfolio examples, additional information that you share on your profile gives customers and potential employers a better understanding of your work, style and goals.
2) Provide Valuable Information
People follow you for a reason – whether it’s out of friendship, an appreciation of your work or your unique take on the world. Personally, I admire anyone that can go through hundreds of pieces of content and suggest the best for me to read. If they provide an interesting commentary as well that’s a bonus.
You don’t have to editorialize on everything interesting that happens every day however. Too much of a good thing is just that… too much. But you should give your followers a reason to stick around. Linking to articles and videos, along with frequent examples of your original content, will create a stream of information that adds value for your customers.
3) Interact With Everyone You Can
This is something most social media users don’t understand. Great social users don’t just broadcast. They interact. They respond to comments, mentions on Twitter and Facebook, and participate in the discourse, whether their name comes up or not. Pay attention to feedback and concerns from those who are interested in you. Don’t be a social media snob and only pay attention to celebrity and household names. Valuable information can come from anywhere and those users just might become key contacts in the future.
4) Build Solid Relationships
Start looking at yourself as a brand. Brands thrive and grow when they generate loyalty to the product/service and can count on continued business. That can only happen by nurturing and building relationships with your fans over time. It might take awhile but this fan base can turn into the best investment in the long run. Exerting time and effort in expanding the people who support and patronize your brand will reap lasting results in the future. When you stay connected and you follow through, you’ll see results in no time.
5) Don’t Overdo It
The blessing and curse of social media is that it’s so easy to post updates. Remember though, people run away whenever they think they’re being spammed. Even if someone absolutely loves you, status updates every minute will drive them away. Too much information and you turn into that overbearing sales guy in the mall shoving flyers into the hands of shoppers. Your approach should be less about pushing your product/service and more about establishing a positive image that people want to be involved with. Quality of content is much more important than frequency.