Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lead, Follow or Have Something to Say

When using social media to market the goods or services your business provides, you need to get into the mix of the conversation.

Lead-  Are you a thought leader?  Get out there and say what is on your mind.  Spread the knowledge.  Share the wealth.  When you are an expert, when you have a new way of looking at things or approaching problems, fans will follow.

Follow-  Are you gathering ideas?  Do you have input, but don't quite consider yourself an expert?  That's okay.  Get into the mix.  Having conversations with others will spark ideas that you can share.  Listen to what thought leaders have to say, try out new ideas, then come up with variations of your own.  If you consistently participate in the conversation you will still gain followers and may eventually become a thought leader.

Have Something To Say- Don't get into social media sites and then hide.  That almost guarantees that no one but agressive marketers and spammers will follow you.  Find people to follow.  Read their thoughts on their blogs.  Respond a little.  Those who at least participate gain followers.  Engage, have fun, and learn.  Eventually you can move up the ladder, to positive contributor and then to thought leader.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Get Smart, Get Social, Get Seen

During the last year, as I've been invited to give presentations, both keynote and breakout sessions, on how businesses can use social media to effectively engage their customers, find new followers and interact with fans, it has been interesting to find out how many businesses still do not "get" social media, much less have a social media strategy.

Folks, if you aren't out there on the social media playing field, you are in trouble.  If you are not talking to your customers, someone else, some other business is.  People may even be talking about you, but if you are't listening, you can't be a part of the conversation.  Don't be afraid to get online and start talking to people.  Who knows, you might like it.

Get Smart:  Decide to get out there.
Get Social:  Talk to people, don't be shy.
Get Seen:  Bring something interesting to the conversation.

Try this:  If you haven't yet, get on Twitter.  Open an account.  Twitter will give you a number of options to find people who have the same interests you do.  Follow them.  Start talking.  DON'T talk about your business and try selling to those who follow you back.  There is time for that later.  For now, just see what is going on and how you and your business can fit into the conversation.