Are You Using Social Media Effectively?
No concept has overwhelmed the hearts and minds of internet users in the past few years like Social Media. They are already making movies about it. But while many online business owners were quick to realise the potential of Social Media, most are not using it effectively.
Why is Social Media different?
By now we are all pretty familiar with using the internet, visiting web sites, shopping online etc. For the most part these activities are information gathering exercises – you want to know something so you go and find web sites that are putting that information out there for you to consume. With this model the information flow is one-way, from the internet to end users like you. Your interaction and opportunity to contribute is minimal.
Online forums and even commenting on blogs changed that to a degree. In these environments you can add your comments and engage in conversation however discovering them was often limited to search engine use as opposed to the viral introduction that Social Media excels in.
Social Media goes much further. Instead of providing a place to drop in and add the occasional comments, Social Media gives each and every one of us a platform to have our say and more importantly to bring friends, colleagues, clients and potential customers in to respond. The knock-on effect being their own groups of friends and colleagues are then networked to you, growing your circle of influence without any further help from you.
Using Social Media to be more engaging
Encouraging active participation in discussions plus the inherent ability to quickly build up networks of friends and colleagues is a key benefit of Social Media. To spark this interaction you need to make sure you don’t simply use Social Media as just another one-way conversation platform. Here are some ideas for doing just that:
- Ask open-ended questions to entice a response beyond a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
- Allow your followers to comment and upload their own content (you may need to moderate this).
- Don’t just talk about yourself or your own business.
- Have an opinion. Don’t just rehash what others are saying.
- Discuss industry news and ask for reader feedback and opinion on these topics.
- Run competitions purely on Social Media platforms to encourage more followers or fans.
If you need inspiration then check out the Social Media accounts of businesses that you follow or admire. There are a lot of great ideas out there for you to build your own strategy upon.
On the other hand you may want to enlist the services of a Social Media Management specialist to have your accounts professionally managed.
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- 17 May, 2011
- Posted by Justin