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"How to Improve Your Social Media Results in 2011"
Think about how you got started with social media. It's likely that you started your own personal profile first, and then created a separate one for your business, or vice versa. I can bet that the way you use your business profile is very similar to the way you use your personal profile. You log in, read posts, messages and notifications, set up a few broadcasts to go out, and call it a day.
That might be enough to keep your friends posting, but if that's all you do on your business profile, you are truly missing out on the power of social media. Don't worry! You're not alone -- I see it often when working with my clients. All it takes to get a little more constructive with social media is to think about improving your performance in a few key areas. Here they are with a few tips and thoughts to get you thinking in the right direction:
Promote interactive discussions with your followers
Social media guru David Garland will be the first one to tell you that if you talk AT your followers, they will lose interest. For example, instead of saying "My new year's resolution is to eat less sweets. Day one going well," try saying, "Let's trade new year's resolutions! I'm cutting out sweets. You?" You want to engage your readers in a discussion, not just garner their support on all YOUR activities. It might feel good to get all that validation, but you want to provide value to your readers, and the smallest note of interest and entertainment goes a long way.
Convert your followers into paying customers
This one's tricky, because you want to keep your followers engaged and active and not exhaust them with promotions. This is why I recommend keeping your topics well balanced, and mixing in personal posts and discussions with work-related promotional posts. Remember, you ultimately want them to opt-in to your list or purchase. That's what will convert them to paying customers.
Why not get your social media community to look forward to your promotional posts? Try holding a social media only special, where your Facebook or Twitter peeps get an exclusive discount or bonus if they purchase one of your products or events. That way, you can also track how many people are joining your client list from your social media efforts.
Tie it all together
Nowadays, you can simply add your social media urls to your blog posts, guest articles and forum posts, and all over your web site, which makes it way easier for a new potential follower to access your profiles while they're already clicking around online. Plan on getting more active in all these online promotional activities to generate more followers.
But here's the big question these days: To put your social media links on your business card, or not to put them on your business card? At SHINE, I announced to the audience that it didn't seem necessary to go out and print new business cards just to add on your social media links. BUT, if you do intend to convert followers to customers using social media, then I say go for the business cards or affix a label with them printed on it. But just be sure you are ready to do the work in converting your new followers into customers.
Don't forget about YouTube
While some don't consider videos social media, I want you to... stat. Videos are a hit online, and they keep your audience not only engaged but also loyal -- they will keep coming back for your next post. If you need some guidance on getting started with Web videos, see my recent post "4 Simple Steps to Web Videos that SELL."
© 2010 Ali International, LLC
Self-made entrepreneur and Inc. 500-ranked CEO Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE weekly articles and advice at www.AliBrown.com