When I first opened my corporation, I knew I would have to jump into the social networking pool. Like it or not, today’s storefront is a website–even those with brick and mortar stores know they must get online to survive.
So, I signed up for all three: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I carved out time to learn the nuances of each knowing that my survival in the marketplace meant that I would have to share, tweet, like and link everyday.
At first I spent all my time on LinkedIn, polishing my profile, building connections, joining groups and reading blogs on how to do LinkedIn. I was not that interested in Facebook, I was convinced that LinkedIn was the place for professionals and that’s all I needed. Not true.
Each of the big three social networking sites are essential for every business person for a variety of reasons. To ignore one of them is like selling your product only to your employees and colleagues. True, Facebook is more casual and you will have to wade through much personal trivia, but not participating would be a mistake.
Likewise, to not Twitter is a mistake. Here’s what I’ve learned from my time on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook:
The key to LinkedIn is the groups. That’s where you meet other professionals and discuss topics that you have either a lot of knowledge about or want to learn about. As a writer, I have gleaned paying jobs simply from connecting to others in LinkedIn Groups. If you’re looking for a job, you most definitely want to be on LinkedIn every day.
Other tips for LinkedIn:
- Keep your profile up-to-date
- Say something everyday, if not several times a day
- Research and upload the applications available, like the blog-feed, Google apps, etc.
- Always check through the list of “People you may know” and send invitations to connect as often as you can.
The big thing with Facebook is saying something often. Even if you don’t have anything funny or smart to say, look for something someone else has posted and “share” it. This is a re-post and how those links and videos go “viral.” What you have to know though, is that your employees, employers, pastors, friends of your friends and hundreds more will see what you post, so always reread what you type before you click “Send!”
- Don’t send personal info through your Wall or Profile page, use the Messages feature for that or send an e-mail.
- Remember that when you comment on someone else’s post, everyone that you’re connected to can see it too.
- If you’re going to put out a notice of some event or something you want action on, be sure to include a link so your readers can connect immediately
This is a real-time place where everything is short and sweet and chock-full of information. You must follow and be followed to make this effective, so you’ll have to build on that as often as you can. When you “tweet,” which should be more often per day than the other networking sites, give your readers something to learn, somewhere to go.
- Have something interesting to say or share.
- Be creative on saying it – you only get 140 characters!
- Learn how to use a URL shrinking tool
- Learn about hashtags and what they mean
- Retweet others tweets and soon they’ll retweet yours!
Most of all, enjoy yourself. Be friendly, kind and smart and your business will grow!