In this age of technology, it is expected that businesses have a social media presence. That’s right; it isn’t an option but an expectation.
When consumers want to know more about a person, product, or service they tend to pick up their phone or sit down at a computer to analyze websites, online reviews, or social media profiles.
Yet with so many social media platforms out there how do you know which one is best for you and your business?
When I started my first company 8+ years ago I dipped my toes in several ‘waters’. I set up a Twitter account and my first Facebook business page and got to work populating each profile. With social media still being fairly new it didn’t take long to gain some traction and get into a groove.
But over the years a lot of changes have impacted how these sites work and who sees/doesn’t see your content and a lot of new sites have joined the scene, including LinkedIn; Google+; Pinterest; SnapChat; Instagram…to name a few. Suddenly I went from managing a few casual interactions on just Twitter and Facebook, to working across 7 different sites, with over 15 profiles/pages, between 2 businesses. Yup….it’s a lot!
So how do I manage it all, while keeping interactions relevant and consistent? Note the terms relevant and consistent here, which I will return to at the end of this post.
First, I started by employing some good ole trial and error. Anything from observing over a period of time until I felt more comfortable and confident with a site… to running ‘campaigns’ of targeted posts…to content curation and post sharing anywhere from 1X a week up to 5X a day!
Through trial and error I got a better idea of how things worked (ie: hashtags, Twitter chats, LinkedIn groups, etc.) and I could see where efforts were paying off.
Next, I honed my efforts on sites with the biggest return. For me, return includes increased engagement and interactions, more followers, and more inquiries! On some sites I find value in the larger network it affords (a greater population to share and engage with) and on other sites I’m able to attract more prospects.
Although only a portion of my social media sites generate really high returns for me, I still try to keep engagement up across a variety of sites as I recognize there could be value long-term.
How much time and effort you place into different sites will depend entirely on your own business strategy and where you see the biggest results.
Finally, I leverage social media schedulers (like HootSuite and Facebook Scheduler) to help me plan posts and organize content. Once a week I try to schedule a group of social media posts across all platforms from content I have created or curated over the course of the week. I use Evernote to save links or posts as I come across them.
Last, I don’t just ‘set it and forget it’. Scheduling posts isn’t enough. With the rapid pace of content sharing that occurs each day, visiting sites in real time is also very important. I make an effort to regularly visit sites and read content in ‘real time’; comment on posts; share insights in the moment; and build a presence. Some sites I visit more – because the return is greater – and others I visit less.
Regardless of what sites you choose to engage with (because you certainly don’t’ have to partake in everything out there!), keeping content relevant to your target audience is key. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is something that has to be experimented with.
Consistency with engagement is also important. You want followers to count on you for content that is relevant and appealing on a fairly steady schedule. There’s nothing worse than following someone just to have them disappear for extended periods of time, or share random content in fits and bursts.
Stay true to your business and your brand and I am sure you’ll see great things happening online!
Look for more social media tips for entrepreneurs – including one of my own! – in this post: “15 Entrepreneurs Share Their Tips for Social Media Success”
Do you have a social media strategy to share as a careerpreneur?! Share your tips in the comments below or write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Adrienne Tom is a careerpreneur, entrepreneur, and mompreneur! She is the co-founder of CareerPreneur Partners and Chief Resume Strategist at Career Impressions.