A Few Good And Bad Social Media Practices

I was reading through the questions on LinkedIn the other day and thought this was an interesting Social Media practices question…

“What are the basic mistakes small businesses make with social media?”

When I got done answering the question, it occurred top me that you might want to know the answer to this one too. So here goes…

1. Not being consistent with your message across the board. If you stay consistent on all of your social media networks – using the same or similar profile photo, your USP is the same and your about me is consistent, you will eventually become instantly recognizable and your audience will know who you are and what you do whenever and where ever they see you. That’s what you want. You are your brand and the more consistent you are the quicker you will become known as an expert in your niche.

2. Not being there every day. Out of site, out of mind. I recently took a 10 day trip to the NAMS online business conference in Atlanta, GA, then on to co-host a live WordPress Workshop in Jacksonville, FL. It was an incredible journey for me. I met so many awesome people who work online, many very successful and some just getting started. I reconnected with old friends and met so many new ones.

I had intended to stay on top of my social media every day, but after a few days my computer started giving me problems. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get online for several days. I noticed that on the day after I stopped popping in and out of social media and engaging with my community, my site visits started going down. As soon as I got back and started engaging on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, they went right back up again. You must be there very day. Even though my community loves me, they have busy lives and there are lots of shiny objects all around to pull their attention away.

3. Not being YOU. Don’t try to be like someone else. It doesn’t take long to figure out the blow-hards. People want to get to know you. Not a persona. We want to do business with honest, trustworthy folks. Just be you. It’s only natural to try to put your most polished professional face on, however, when you start communicating with others just as you are, that’s when the magic happens. It becomes easier to write, talk to people on social media and people really start to respond to you and your message.

4. Not enough engagement and interaction and too darn much blasting links to your offers. You can and must promote every day, but you should be doing a lot less promotion and more engagement.

5. Not giving it enough time. Patience is a virtue. I guess you’ve heard that one, huh? Social media doesn’t give instant gratification. You have to be interesting and engaging. Offer solutions and help. People will start paying attention, just not necessarily over night.

This is certainly not a complete list, but it’s some of the main issues beginners seem to face.

Social Media Secret – Make a Friend, Not a Sucker

The last thing someone wants is to feel like is a sucker. Well, with the surge of home businesses leveraging the true power of social media marketing these days, far too many are turning what they intend to be a friend into a sucker.

What I have seen in the social media arena is people are befriending others and before you know it, they are sending their “new” friends an invite to join their home business. What really sickens the social media arena is their chance of having success through this social media begins to diminish. What should be understood is, it is not about promoting, it is about being “social”. Nowhere is it called “sales media”. It is a shame because what we are seeing these days is so-called entrepreneurs are using it for this particular (wrong) purpose. Their new friends are soon feeling like they were suckered into your friendship. Not very good!

When they accepted your friendship request, something about you interested them. Perhaps the pictures you posted in your bio or the people in your network. The good news is you are off to a great start. As a result, you have attracted them to you – job well done. However, the minute we see someone promoting their home business before they have even met you, is the minute they have just burned down the communication bridge! The better approach would be to provide your audience with value they can chew on and digest. Make it really tasty for them that they will want to stay connected with you.

Does this mean they are going to buy your product(s) or join your business opportunity? Maybe, but most likely not. What this means is they want to learn more about you and to see how true you are to what they have been drawn to. How you do this is based on the information you provide to your audience and connect with them. Imagine you created a friendship with someone and they like what they have seen thus far.

They decide to reach out to you, but only you NEVER connect back with them. Sorry friend – you just burned that bridge again. Whenever I am working with anyone in the social media realm, I am always thinking about what my audience wants. I am NOT thinking of what I want, which is what most do. I am putting value out to the world for those that are interested in what I am talking about.

You will make far more friends doing these two very important things in social media.
1. Provide value
2. Build relationships

An example of how you can provide value is, if you discovered an unique way to bring traffic to your website, then you share that message with your audience letting them know how they can review that information. That is information they would love to get their hands on. Therefore, making it an irresistible offer they simply cannot refuse. By providing them with your successful experience, you are putting it out there for your target audience to really connect with you and understand who you are.

If we are to elaborate on providing value, your end goal is to build relationships. You have simply put your value out there and now others want more. They want to connect with you. The time a connection has been made between the two parties is when it is best for the home business owner to create a dialog which demonstrates how you are genuinely interesting in helping people you come in contact with.

Let us use the example where you have a Friday night date with a person of your dreams. Do you think talking all about you and your ex is building a relationship? Do you think they would want to go out with you again? Or, do you think actively engaging yourself in conversation with them by asking them non-drilling questions about them and listening to their answers is building a relationship? Which is the better option?

By listening and actively engaging yourself in the conversation, you will have begun the building a relationship process. It is a very natural process. When it goes to working with anyone after a connection has been made, you play the role of asking (non-drilling) questions about the other person and truly listening to them. This is what making friends is all about. Someone you have built an ongoing relationship with because of the value you provide and your uniqueness, attracts those like minded people to you because of your approach.

They are attracted to what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. They are drawn to you! When making a connection in social media, remember my example about dating. This is how you make friend in social media, not a sucker.