Should you be participating in Social Networking Online?
Everyone and their granny are on Facebook! What about you?
When I first saw Facebook I wondered, why? Didn’t we already keep in touch via email? When Twitter emerged I was bamboozled and am still not quite hooked. Kevin Rudd, other pollies, and journalists seem to have a handle on it. Wonder what I’m missing….. If you know, tell me.
Can either platform help in business?
The general consensus is Facebook, Twitter and other social media are valuable tools to engage your customers online, letting them spread your message, exposing your brand to a wider community. Sounds great doesn’t it? Low cost and extremely high leverage when supporters of your brand are spreading your message for you….!
It’s not simple. Ask yourself whether your customers would even be using social media. I know many of our clients/customers do and I can identify those that wouldn’t. Careful, don’t assume they never will.
Slapping up profiles on a selection of social media platforms won’t cut it. Identify your objectives first and be prepared to put in an effort to provide useful and unique content and keep in mind that it’s not about you!
Know your objectives. (e.g. I have 4)
1. To provide useful information to help you make decisions like this one about social media.
2. To write info, answers, ideas, on a range of topics so you and others are compelled to pass it on or link to it.
3. To build Bonza’s reputation as a creditable resource, one that you’ll want to revisit often because we know “stuff”.
4. Link building to improve our position in search engine rankings. Google loves fresh content.
Take it seriously… It involves time and effort and a willingness to participate and share information. Nobody likes self-promotion or blatant advertising. If you build up credibility as an expert in your field and grow a network of true believers because you have great content, they’ll spread the good word.
So which platform to choose?
Blogging, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, Photobucket, YouTube, Wikis, Delicious, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Wikianswers etc. Oh dear, the list is endless!
Each has its own best practices and guidelines for community behaviour and participation, so get in there and check them out first and select the best platforms that match your objectives. There’s a link to a list of Social Networking sites at the end of this article. (source: Wikipedia)
How to start writing content?
“How to” articles are a good way to start. Think about the most often asked questions from your customers/clients. If you have a FAQ page on your website, often these Frequently Asked Questions can be expanded. Ask yourself what people want to know about your products or your industry/niche. (Remember, it’s not about you)
Once you get into the groove, the time spent on preparing and posting shortens. You’ll probably start to enjoy it too, after all you’re the expert and how easy is it to write about the subject you know best?