I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Discussing automating social media updates

I admit there’s a lot about social media I don’t yet know, although I am getting a grasp of the basics now.

There’s one topic I have noticed floating around that I’m not sure I agree with, although I see the argument presented. So I want to ask what others think…

Should you use software to automate your posts on social media such as facebook and twitter?

The argument against it is that it looks impersonal and like you haven’t bothered to log into the specific platform to post something. Some make an exception for automatically sending a message about a new blog post if (and only if) you post other things around the blog post messages.

Here is my thinking on that argument…

  • I may not have logged into the platform but I did still take the time to write whatever the message is
  • if I didn’t use automated software, I’d have less time to post on social media so would do less – surely someone who values my input cares more about getting the messages than how I post them?
  • personally, I take little (if any) notice of the icon showing how someone submitted their comment – it is the comment I am interested in (or not!) Am I the only one who doesn’t notice the icons?
  • I think I might actually respect or at least understand someone’s use of automating software as they are sensible enough to manage their time

I am busy and while I do sometimes log in directly, the reality is that without tools like Tweetdeck and leenk.me, I just wouldn’t be able to manage a social media presence along with everything else. I certainly don’t want to give a bad impression by using such tools, but I need them and can’t see me logging into each platform multiple times each day (multiple because I manage more than one account on some platforms).

How do you feel when you see a link showing I posted without logging into the platform?

      Word Constructions on LinkedIn    

Telling people is a key step

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, if I don’t tell you something how can I expect you to know about it let alone share the information?

image source: 123rf

Have you heard the expression ‘build the website and people will come to you’? It isn’t the entire story as no matter how great your website is, if no one knows it exists you will not get many visitors to the site.

There are many ways to increase your business profile, and various people will tell you that you MUST do certain things to further your business. Having a blog, joining Twitter and Facebook, putting videos on YouTube and having a LinkedIn profile can help a business, although to varying degrees for each business.

However, what is often not mentioned is that you have to promote those things in order to get the benefit of them. It’s great to tweet about new products and share valuable information but if no one follow you and your clients don’t know you are on Twitter, it’s pretty much a waste of time. Likewise for all those other social media options.

So remember to let people know about your blog, website, twitter account, Facebook profile and so on if you want them to build your business profile and website traffic.

How have you told people about your social media presence? What has been the most effective for you?

PS If you don’t already know, my twitter name is TashWord and Word Constructions is on Facebook.

Prepared for a chain reaction?

Yesterday I wrote about chain reactions affecting our businesses and lives. Contingency plans help us prepare for negative situations, but a chain reaction may actually be a positive thing.

For example, you may make a single sale where you gave the client great service. That client belongs to a business group so she tells them about your service and you get 3 more sales. Those 3 people post about you on Facebook and you another 5 sales.Those 5 people blog about you which leads to another 8 sales, and those 8 tweet the  original blog post and you get 30 new sales.

Word of mouth marketing and viral marketing have always been good for businesses, and can lead to more sales. With the growth of social media, the chain reaction for a business can be big very fast.

My question is, are you prepared for the chain reaction in your business? If an extra 30 sales came in this week, could you deal with them all? If your marketing campaign goes viral, can your website cope with double, triple or quadruple the traffic? If you suddenly find your blog is popular and getting 50 comments a day, could you keep up with approving and answering them?

Being prepared for a chain reaction, could include the following…

  • have procedures in place so steps are followed even if things are busy and if you get new staff (including temps and VAs) to help you
  • know how to upgrade your website hosting quickly
  • automate whatever you can so you have more time available for the tasks you are truly needed for
  • space out marketing campaigns so there is a steady stream of results instead of ‘all or nothing’
  • when planning a marketing campaign, bring in extra staff, outsource more tasks and keep the following week (or whatever is appropriate) free for dealing with the response
  • monitor online mentions of your business so you can have at least some warning of a possible influx of work
  • if filling your diary from the new sales, remember to block out necessary background tasks (invoicing, packaging, meetings, gathering information, etc)

How have you prepared for a chain reaction resulting in a lot more work for you?

Social media relationships

My last post was about networking with a bottle of wine, so I thought I’d also aim it more specifically on social media as Chris did in his original post.

Using social media (facebook, twitter, blogs, You Tube, etc) is in many ways exactly the same as more traditional networking and socialising. Building these relationships depends on being friendly, listening to people and showing interest.

Even the differences are based on the same principles, they use technology to reach those aims. If you met someone at a party, you would answer them by talking; in social media, it is still polite and expected that you answer but you might do so by posting a comment or retweeting instead.

So some social media networking tips are:

  1. be generous with links – if you like something add the link to your blog, tweet it, write about it in Facebook, and so on. It costs you nothing but time, it actually gives you something to write about and is likely to help the creator
  2. visit other people’s blog, Facebook wall, twitter profile, You Tube channel and so on. You can learn more about them than just responding to their emails and comments, and they will probably appreciate you leaving comments when you visit
  3. if networking for your business, broaden your topics – chat with people about other interests (if you network in real life, you’d probably have some references to the weather, the food, the venue or major news/sports of the day, so why not on social media?)
  4. link all your social media outlets – it makes it easier for someone to find what they want but also helps your Twitter followers discover your blog readers, etc.
  5. give more often (by a long shot) than you promote or sell; Chris Brogan suggested a 15:1 ratio – what do you think is a good ratio?
  6. share information on how to socialise online – you don’t need to tell people how to talk but not all your customers and contacts know the purpose of # in a tweet or how to embed a video in a blog
  7. remember to touch base frequently – just like friends drift away if you don’t see them much, online contacts will forget you if you don’t tweet for a month or so.

I’m not a social media expert (closer to the beginner end of the scale really) so I’d love to hear your tips for maximising social media networking…