Social Networking can be overwhelming.
I love it. I get twitchy when I can’t do Twitter and forlorn when I can’t Facebook.
But it can be tough to figure out exactly how to get results from it (more traffic, more subscribers, more clients).
Where should you post? When should you post? What should you post? How can you juggle more than one place to post?
It’s enough to make a small business owner or blogger want to hide under the computer desk and refuse to come out.
So how can we make it easier?
You need a plan!
Here are the 7 steps I use:
1) Set Goals: You need to know why you’re on each network. What do you hope to accomplish? Is it connecting with your target market? Driving traffic back to your site? Reaching potential JV partners? You may have more than one goal (I do) and that’s fine, just be sure you know what your goals are and have defined them so you know if you’re getting results or wasting time.
I’ll be sharing more about setting smart social networking goals in the next issue of this ezine — stay tuned!
2) Get Setup: Once you know your goals, you need to setup your profiles and website to help support your goals. For Twitter, this would include your profile image, background, bio, etc. For your Facebook fan page, this would include a welcome tab, perhaps a blog or YouTube tab, etc. For your website, this would include adding a way for visitors to connect with you on the social networks and easy ways for your visitors to share your content on the social networks.
3) Get Connecting: Who do you want to connect with? Having 10,000 Twitter followers is completely useless if none of them are interested in what you’re tweeting about (or if you aren’t tweeting things that will help you reach your goals). 10,000 Facebook fans are of no value if they like you then never interact with your page or visit your website again. So know who you want to connect with, what you want them to do next, and build your connection plans around those goals. Don’t just randomly connect with anyone who can breathe.
4) Get Interacting: Once you’ve started connecting, you need to interact. You aren’t a one-way radio station there to broadcast your favorite tunes all day. Don’t post “buy my stuff!” “look what’s new!” “check out my blog!” and nothing else (especially on Twitter). Think of yourself as a call-in show and get in the discussion!
How to Build a Following on Twitter with #Hashtag Tips
5) Automate: Automation is not evil. Unless you want to spend all day (and night) online, you need to learn to use automation to help you stay visible. You can do this without being annoying, slimy, or robotic. Again, it comes down to knowing your goals and working towards them consistently.
6) Be Consistent: Don’t spend 15 minutes on Twitter one day a week and expect results. Don’t spend an hour playing farm games on Facebook and expect results (other than a blossoming farm). You need to show up and stay consistent. If you’ve got 20 minutes a day, then split that up into 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the afternoon/evening and every day consistently show up and interact. (Use your time wisely towards you goals and even a few minutes can go a long way!)
7) Track & Adapt: Be sure you’re watching for results and measuring them so you know if your strategies are working. If they are, awesome! If they aren’t, just adapt and adjust and keep going.
Having a plan is always better than winging it. Unless you’re in improv. But social networking results come much faster if you’ve got goals you’re working towards.
So how can you implement these steps? Check out the blog posts I’ve shared right below the steps above.
Michelle Shaeffer has been a work at home mom for more than 10 years and loves to share the tips and strategies she’s learned to help other small and home based business owners balance, manage, and market their businesses.