I have no doubt that, as you begin to read this post, you will feel an overwhelming sensation of ‘not again.’
The thing is, how many more posts will you have to read before you, your peers and so called leaders accept that social media is much more profound than a bushel of platforms?
It doesn’t matter the business, there is an unbridled opportunity, staring you in the face, to stand out in a competitive market place. Of course, your product, service and experience has to be jaw-dropping, WOW and worth (positively) talking about; but social media just seems so obvious right now.
Even if you have been used to generating most of your work by word of mouth (WOM), in time – perhaps now – at least one search engine or social media platform will be the nexus for your and your clients’ investigations. This isn’t a generational thing. It is where the market is.
If you haven’t yet decided where to invest your precious time, here is an outline of the (bare) minimum that I would consider, allowing for internal and external resourcing:
- Produce useful and interesting content for your Website every other day
- Maintain a blog on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger or Typepad
- Start a personal Twitter feed
- Start posting anything other than your news to Twitter
- Start a Google+ account and post something every day
- Use Google Reader to aggregate all your content and share on Google+
- Start a company page on Google+ and consider how you develop content different to your personal account
- Update your company account on LinkedIn and post material that chimes with your followers
- Update your LinkedIn account (here is a link to a must read article on LinkedIn)
- Start an account on Instagram and start posting pictures that go beyond the usual ‘team’ stuff
- Start a Flickr account if you want to use pictures in your blogs (it’s the best way of embedding them in a blog post)
- Start an Evernote account
- Think about sound as part of your blogging effort; I recommend Soundcloud or Audioboo
- Make sure you understand enough about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so that you don’t waste too much time posting material that no one is ever likely to read
- Make sure your web company understands social media; if not find someone who does
If you have gotten through the list (I know it hardly looks minimal!) then you may feel a sense of ‘Why bother’ or ‘I just don’t have the time’ or ‘The risks outweigh the benefits.’ And I get all of those. But if you cross through every single one, what are you left with? Doing what you have always done! And you know how the saying goes. If you carry on doing what you have always done, don’t be surprised if you end up where you currently are.
One final thing.
Underlying all of these platforms is the need to stay curious, write or produce material that people want to read or engage with and remain focused on the business of the business. Don’t let the social media tail wag the proverbial dog.
[Note: If you are not having fun or at least enjoying the process then you are doing something seriously wrong.]
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