When you think of the phrase “social networking,” different things may come to mind for many of us, but likely the first site you think of is the big one: Facebook.
If you’re running a solid Facebook social networking campaign for yourself or your business, that’s a great start. Some of the less socially or technically inclined out there are likely thinking “A great start? That’s not it?” Sorry to break it to you, but Facebook isn’t the only place you need to be engaging people.
If you need to drive more traffic and interest to your site and improve your engagement with your clients (past, present, and future), it’s time we looked beyond Facebook. It’s time to tackle these different social networking sites, too.
This is the big one, almost as big as (and for some people, possibly bigger than) Facebook.
You probably don’t need me to explain Twitter to extensively, but realize its value is its simplicity: it takes the barest essentials of what makes Facebook effective and refines them to 140 characters. If you can’t say it to your followers in that frame, it’s probably too long to post about anyway. Just blog it, then send your followers a link to that blog. Yes, it’s really that simple.
Please, I beg you, don’t make Twitter hard! Sometimes it shocks me that people can make a 140- character statement hard. A good tweet is a kick-butt headline that should make me want to read the story being linked to. Just think of it like a brief teaser.
While we’re on the topic of blogging, let’s talk blogging.
Hopefully your site already has a blog going, but if not, get it going as soon as you can possibly think of what to blog about. Heck, you don’t even have to think of something, hire someone to do it for you or brows a database of ready-to-go blogs on different topics just to get started.
WordPress may not be a social media platform in the strict, explicit sense, but it serves as a way to get your blog posts (i.e. what you’re thinking or have to say to people interested in what you’re doing) out to the world in a way that directly relates it to your site.
To fully use this in a socially relevant manner, be sure to allow comments on your posts. And, of course, incorporate social plugins so that people can log in easily to comment. From there, encourage people to comment by asking questions or offering incentives for response (something free like an e-book or report, ideally). Then engage people by responding to them and provoking further conversation. Maybe even start it up yourself by posting first.
YouTube is increasingly an essential means for social networking in different, varied approaches. Our culture today is visual and video-driven. Take advantage of that by not just creating videos, but starting a YouTube channel that directly corresponds with your site/company. For my clients, we don’t wait for NBC to call, we create our own YouTube shows. Create your own destiny, YouTube gives you all the editing tools you need!
From there, use the video and video descriptions to provoke commentary from viewers and, you guessed it, respond to them. Keeping a conversation going is big, if you haven’t figured that out yet. (For more, see how to use YouTube for social media!)
It’s an oldie, but it’s still relevant. For designers, consultants, and CEOs, this can be your golden ticket to the web of future opportunities.
If you haven’t worked out your own LinkedIn profile to a full profile yet, make sure you go back and cover every aspect of your profile so people can be assured of your authority in your market; LinkedIn makes it super easy to complete your profile in the form of post-it reminders! I love it! Matter of fact, a client called me saying, “Do I need to change my profile picture? There’s a little paperclip asking me!” Follow the direction of LinkedIn. Trust me … they know what you’re missing!
The good and bad thing about using this different social networking site is that it’s geared toward professionals. Your outreach will be smaller, but more targeted and personal, which is great for professional connections.
Other People’s Blogs/Sites/Etc.
In running through all the different social networking platforms, don’t forget to look for those of other people in your industry. See their blogs, sites, profiles, etc. to engage with them, and they’ll likely do the same for you.
This list isn’t exhaustive, so this can also lead to finding different new and exciting social networking platforms you wouldn’t otherwise have found out about.