Social Media: What Works, Not Just the Latest Shiny Object

by John Eberhard

Eric Qualman, in a recent article on Search Engine Watch, talks about how many companies will jump on the social media bandwagon just because everyone is talking about a certain site. He likens it to following the latest “shiny object.”

I try to keep up on the latest social media trends and websites. But I also temper this with the fact that I don’t really care about the latest shiny object or seeming cool. I want to use techniques, media, and websites that will actually get results for clients. And the bottom line is driving actual traffic to a website, and getting leads and sales.

Last week I talked about a bigger, more expansive social media marketing program. In this article I want to talk a little bit more about how to get results with some of these various media.

Regular Engagement

With Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn, the key is not just to start an account on these sites, but to be engaged with your account and with others there on a regular basis.

This means, first of all, to develop a decent number of “friends” on Facebook and MySpace, “followers” on Twitter, and “connections” on LinkedIn. Start with your actual friends or business connections, then start connecting with their friends.

Secondly, it means posting something on those accounts regularly, preferably daily or even more than once a day. Tell people what you are doing in relation to your business, such as “I just closed a new big account,” or, for me for instance “I just completed designing a new web site for a client,” and then including the link to the site. You can post things about your personal life too, and intersperse these with the business related stuff, such as “just got back from a great weekend at Big Bear Lake” or something like that.

After posting links to various web sites I had designed recently, a Facebook friend wrote me and wanted a meeting, then signed up for a web design project. The point is that if you have a good number of friends or connections, and you communicate about your activities (but not in a non-stop, obnoxious way) you will connect with people who need your services and you will get business.

My friend and client Stan Dubin was recently talking to me about Twitter, as he has had good success there with 3,000 followers. He said the key is to post things regularly, and to engage in actual conversations with people. He also advised people to start multiple accounts on there for the various activities you do, such as one for your business, one for being a musician (if you are), one for your hobby, etc. He has three accounts on Twitter.

I started posting more than once a day on Twitter for my website marketing activities, using various keywords in the posts such as “web design,” “pay per click advertising,” “social media marketing,” and so on, and immediately started getting 20-25 new followers per day. So when you post Twitter try to use keywords in your posts that you think people will search for.

Summary

So the moral of the story is to communicate regularly on these social media sites, engage in conversations, make friends, and don’t be afraid to communicate about your business (but not non-stop). Business will follow.

One Response to “Social Media: What Works, Not Just the Latest Shiny Object”

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  1. Alan Eames says:

    Hi John,
    This is so relevant to my learning how to market myself on-line. Thank you for writing on such current and vital topics.
    We have a new site for businesses and customers to connect at http://www.ClearConnectionLosAngeles.com.
    Thanks again,
    Alan

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