Finding Your Voice – A Social Media Crash Course

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Find The Click - Stand Out in Social Media
Stand Out in Social Media

I’m working with a few clients who have gone to my 2-day retreat, The Click and we’re doing the second of 12 follow-up sessions.  Every one of them wants to rush right to the social media piece.  The conversations all start the same:

“Sarah, when will we talk about Facebook?”

“We can talk about it right now.  Why do you want to be there?”

“My daughter says I HAVE to be there.”  She sighs, resigned to the fact that technology has robbed her of the human touch – the face-to-face communication she relished in her 27 years in the corporate sector.  A handshake and a contract were her symbols of success.

“Maybe you don’t need to be on Facebook at all.” I reply.

“I don’t??”  I hear her voice brighten.  It happens with each of my clients over 50 – most have been in corporate jobs and social media belongs in the realm of their teenage sons and daughters.  Or, of those who have wa-ay too much time on their hands.

“It’s just so much drivel.  I don’t like everyone knowing my business – it’s so intrusive.”

“Yes, it can be.  So can a diner.”

“A diner?  What does a diner have to do with Facebook?”

When I was a kid, after we worked the horses on the track, we headed over to the local Dunkin Donuts for our reward – a donut and steaming mug of hot chocolate.  Walt, the owner of the racehorses, always had the newspaper open and he’d read our horoscopes aloud.  The banter would begin – “Oh so THAT’S why you’re in a mood this morning.”  We’d all laugh and poke fun at each other.  We’d find other stories about the horses, the track, the cold, the heat.  Year-round, it was our ritual.  I don’t hit the track anymore, or even a newspaper.  But I do hit Facebook for pretty much the same thing – engagement.

Just like when you walk into Barnes and Noble for the first time – it’s OVERWHELMING.  Yet, when you see the sections that interest you, you can easily get lost for hours perusing books and magazines that pique your interest.  Not a bookstore fan?  How about a hardware store?  Send me over to the paint chips and I can easily amuse myself.  Once you learn the tools you can use on social media to hone in on your interests, then it starts to make sense.  You can find all kinds of people who share your interests and that’s where it can become not only beneficial to your business, but it can be (gasp…) FUN!

So no, don’t force yourself to endure social media, find the reason why you WANT to be there, not why you HAVE to be there.  Find someone who can show you the ropes.  Follow (or “like”) people who you resonate with, who have something interesting to share.  Most importantly, don’t make it all about promoting your business – the secret to social media success is sharing other people’s success.  On my Got Clicks Facebook page, most of the posts you’ll see on there are about what my clients are up to. They have so many fascinating stories, I love to share what they’re up to.

So how do you sort through the drivel to enjoy the divine?  Here are some tips to navigate Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (it’s long, but useful.)

Twitter: 

  • What is it for? Best used for headlines or short news.  Only 160 characters, so short and sweet is key.
  • # (hashtag) is used to search for conversations like #babyboomers, #loa, #abrahamhicks.
  • @ sign is used to include people in a conversation so they can be “tagged” in your post and see your comment.  It’s also used to search for people @gotclicksbiz for example, finds Got Clicks and Sarah Spencer.
  • bit.ly or goo.gl – Use these tools to abbreviate long urls so they fit inside Twitter’s parameters
  • Lists – Great for organizing people you have in common (ie I have a list of “Marketing Gurus.”)  You can find List in the upper right corner where the gear is.  Click on the gear and you’ll see how to create your list.

How do I communicate on Twitter?

  • Reply – If someone makes a comment, you can click “reply” to engage in a conversation.
  • Retweet – This is the same as “sharing” a post.
  • Favorite – Similar to the “Like” button on FB if you don’t have anything else to say.
Why would I use Twitter for Business?
 
  • When you want to test a specific market to see how active it is (ie #babyboomers, #tires, etc.)
  • When you want to tweet about a time-sensitive event, such as a conference, you can find others who are experiencing the same conference by using #nameofyourconference, and meet them for coffee, lunch, etc.  Great for impromptu connecting at an event.
  • When you have writer’s block for your blog, website, presentation, etc. and you need inspiration.  Just pull up your list of gurus you enjoy and become inspired from their posts all in one place.
LinkedIn:
 
  • What is it for?  Business networking, finding a job and finding customers if you are in the b-to-b sector.
  • @ sign is used to include people in a conversation that may be relevant or for searching.
  • Posts – Found on the left-hand drop down next to the search box.  This is AWESOME for finding articles relevant to your industry (ie “55+ entrepreneurs, babyboomers,)
  • Groups – Great way to connect to people you need in your circle of influence.  Find a contact you’d like to know better, scroll down on their profile.  Search for groups you may have in common and join the group. Then, when you click “Connect,” when asked how you know them, in the drop down, you can say you have a group in common to get the conversation rolling.
How do I communicate on LinkedIn?
 
  • Post links to blogs relevant to your industry.
  • Participate in groups with thoughtful questions to encourage participation.
  • Service, service, service.  Always be looking for how you can serve OTHERS, not necessarily yourself.
  • Formal – business only.  This is NOT where you post what you had for breakfast or how you partied hearty.
Why would I use LinkedIn for Business?
 
It makes connection on a business level very easy.  It shows you as the expert in your industry.  Definitely the place to show and tell what you know for the benefit of other peers in your industry or in industries you wish to sell into.
Facebook:
 
  • What is it for?  Think of Facebook as your local diner.  All characters from all walks of life enter in with the good, the bad and the ugly.  Real Estate agents, car salespeople, generally anyone who sold used to swear by visiting the local diner on a daily basis to get the heartbeat of the neighborhood. Now?  It’s Facebook.
  • @sign is used to include people in a conversation that may be relevant or for searching.
  • # (hashtag) is used to search for conversations like #babyboomers, #loa, #abrahamhicks.
  • Personal Page – You must have a personal page first before having a business page.
  • Business Page – Can be accessed either in the drop-down on the upper right or the left side of your page.

How do I communicate on Facebook?

  • Comment with links back to your blog or website.
  • Comment on posts relevant to you.
  • Like comments you agree with.
  • Ignore idiocy.
  • Remember your mother – don’t say or post anything you wouldn’t say in front of your mother.
  • It’s always better to be kind than clever.
  • 80/20 rule:  80% interesting, relevant articles.  20% selling your stuff.
Why would I use Facebook for Business?
  • People buy people.  Facebook shows you have depth as a person and not necessarily always pushing your business.
  • ALWAYS make certain you’re clear on who you’re posting as, your business or personal before posting.
  • If you find you’re not getting a lot of views on your business page, you can always share it using your personal page.
  • Facebook is VERY social (which can make an introvert run for the hills.)  The key to the Magic Facebook Kingdom is the power of numbers.  The more likes, the better your chances are of being heard.  The more interaction?  The more likely your post will be seen in others’ news feeds.
  • If you’re new to the game, “like” some pages who have 500 or more “likes” and see how they play the game first.  See if they’ll share a link you’ve offered to their audience to grow your own.
  • Contests- Great way to build your fan base.  Rafflecopter offers a platform and it’s free.  Make sure your prize in RELEVANT to what you sell.  Otherwise, you’ll just get “junk” posts.
Hootsuite
 
  • What is it for?  Use it to write for all your social media under one umbrella.  You can easily put all your posts for the week on a Sunday night while watching TV.
  • You can post across all platforms or select one or two depending upon relevance.
  • Short stuff – Twitter Feeds.  Business oriented:  LinkedIn & FB Biz Page  Interesting Pics:  FB Personal.
  • Abbreviated Links – Hootsuite  automatically shortens long urls for you.
  • Scheduling – VERY important.  Know when your audience is on.  I find 7:10 am for some reason is a great time for me to post.  Experiment and watch your stats to see when you have the most engagement and make it a habit to connect with your audience on a regular basis.
  • RESPOND – For goodness sake, respond if someone’s kind enough to like or comment on your post.  See what they’re up to and share their stuff if it’s relevant and important.  The worst you can do is let a whole week go by and not check your inbox.  Respond just as if these were customers calling you on the phone.  Because one day, if you play your cards right, they will be.

I’m offering my 2-day retreat and 12-one-on-one internet marketing sessions with The Click this coming late August – September.  I would love to see you join us.  It’s designed to help you hone the messaging of your business to help you find “raging cookie fans,” people who want, need and are willing to pay you for your products and services.  Check out the 5 minute video and see if it’s a good fit for you here.

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