Do you feel guilty about all that time you’re spending on Facebook and Twitter? If so, I’ve got good news for you. Social media doesn’t have to be a waste of time! If you know what to look for, you can turn your social media sessions into a chance to build some good quality incoming links – and you still get to chat with friends too.
Try these tips for making the most of your time on social networking sites:
1. Watch What People Say About Your Competitors
Set up some search filters in your favourite Twitter client so that you can see who is talking about your competitors, and what they’re saying. This will give you an idea of what sort of promotions your competitors are running, and will help you to find people who are interested in your products. You could turn those people into strong brand advocates.
2. Connect With Journalists
Journalists spend a lot of time on social media, trying to find news, and also looking for case studies, and for subject matter experts. Make friends with journalists on Facebook and Twitter, and build up a good relationship with them. The extra publicity opportunities that this can earn you will be very beneficial.
3. Be Helpful
Lots of people use Twitter to ask for advice and to gather opinions. If you want to establish yourself as a subject matter expert, make an effort to look for those questions and answer them. Set up a Twitter search to find people who are asking questions related to your keywords. Filter out links to avoid getting too many results that are simply promoting their own articles. Spend a few minutes a day answering questions, and you’ll generate a lot of goodwill.
4. Be a Community Member
Join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, and talk to people. Try to have a presence on other social media sites such as Pinterest, and Quora, and check in periodically. It’s best to pick one or two sites to focus on, so that you don’t spread yourself too thin, but you should still at least have a presence on other sites so that people can connect with you easily.
5. Be Genuine
Many big brands make the mistake of using social media as a form of free advertisement, and don’t bother to connect with their fans or followers at all. As a small business owner, or a person trying to build up a strong reputation for themselves, you cannot afford to do this. Some self promotion is OK, but if the only thing you do on social focused sites is advertise, people will get sick of you pretty quickly. To succeed on Facebook and Twitter, try to act naturally. It’s a good idea to avoid touchy subjects such as politics and religion, but it’s still worth joining in with off-topic conversations. Talk about the weather, your favourite TV shows, or your favourite foods. Wish people a happy birthday, answer questions, and tell the occasional joke. That way, when you do come to promote something, people will be more likely to listen to what you have to say, because they feel like they know you.
This post was written by James Harper for social media agency Boom Online Marketing. Click here to find out about their other services.