Call it a diamond in the rough. You have a Twitter account and a Facebook account — and that’s a great start — but now what? What are you going to do with those tools to really make your social media efforts shine and meet your business goals? We’ve got four ideas to keep in mind as you continue to build and use social media as a star in your marketing arsenal.
Continuity: Continuity is not a word many of us use in everyday conversation, but it simply means the “continuous or connected whole.” Your social media efforts probably have several parts and pieces. Are you using the different parts and pieces to support the others? Are you blogging and using Twitter to share your blog posts? Are you using Twitter to update Facebook? Connecting all of the tools will provide you with the most bang for your virtual buck.
Collaboration: When you join social media groups online – from Facebook “fan” groups to industry-based community forums – you immediately connect yourself with like-minded people. Use your connections to reach out for collaboration when you need to. Perhaps you need to conduct a quick informal survey of customers, members or followers, Twitter is a great tool for getting instant feedback. If you need help with more long-term collaboration, connecting with your Facebook friends or fans might be a better route to take.
Cultivation: Of course you’re using different social media tools to tell people about your business, your association and even sometimes your personal life, but are you reaching out and showing some interest in others? Make sure that you’re making the most of these community-building tools to cultivate relationships. You never know when the friend of a friend might need your services or when a “fan” might become your most active advocate or local chapter member. Reply to others, comment on pictures and blog posts, share and re-share information that others have shared with you. After all, cultivating relationships is one of the main reasons you signed up for all this social media craziness!
Creativity: Writer’s block? Word on the tip of your tongue? What exciting place can you take a new client for lunch? The social media tools that you’re already using can provide a great place to ask questions to get your creative juices flowing again. Ask your Twitter followers for another word for “big” and I would bet you get at least a dozen answers. Ask your fans on Facebook for input on a new logo, and you’ll probably get more opinions than you care for. The creativity of your network is sure to impress you if you simply look for it.
Getting the most out of your social media efforts will take time and attention, but once you make the commitment and follow the four C’s, you’ll see how quickly you can reap the rewards that will help you meet your business goals.