By Hector Cisneros
You've heard everyone talking about how powerful social media is for marketing your business. How if you're not using it to market your business you're is stuck in the 80's. So you go out and create a Face Book page, open a LinkedIn account, start tweeting on twitter, build a Blog and start looking at You Tube. Now what do you do?
You're told by a friend to post snippets about your businesses and create a blog post about things you know, (although you're not sure what a blog is). You start to share information on various sites in the evening and before you know it. Bam, you're spending dozens of hours a week and getting nothing to show for your efforts. You say to yourself, what a pain in the neck social media marketing is!
If you want to avoid the pain of spending too much time posting to social media sites and not getting anything in return, then read on. I will show you a half-dozen cardinal rules you need to abide by to keep your credibility. I will show you how to avoid the most common pit falls beginners make, and I'll help you get the most from the time you spend marketing to your social media sites.
Social Media is Not Advertising
|Word of Mouth (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)|
Create and Stick to a Schedule
Image via WikipediaSecond, set aside a scheduled time to post your information and stick to it. It's all too easy to sit down, start posting your information and before you know it, it's three AM! I schedule my post twice a week and spend an hour each time. During the week, I gather useful information and links from my daily life. These include; email communications, my current events, new and old photos I find, online article I read, RSS feeds I use, internet headlines I like and just surfing the net. I suggest you do the same. Use these as part of posting the cardinal 4 items I spoke of earlier.
Be Patient and Stick to Your Growth Plan
Third, don't create false expectations for your results. Before your network can produce meaningful traffic, you need it to grow to a reasonable size. Having a total following of a couple of hundred Face Book Fans, contacts on LinkedIn and followers on Twitter is cool but it not a big enough network to produce powerful results. Your social media influences (i.e., the power to make things happen), is directly related to the number of members in your network. Social media has a viral quality to it. In this sense, it is a type of word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth depends on your credibility and the size of your network.
Save Time by Using Aggregator Software
Fourth, you must leverage technology to save time. If you are not using aggregator software for your post, start using one today. Aggregator programs allow you to post to several social media site simultaneously. They also let you schedule post at future dates. These programs can save you lots of time and energy. I personally like Tweet Deck and HootSsuite. Search for them on the web and you will find they are free to use.
How Big is Big Enough?
Image via WikipediaFifth, if you are going to build a social network, you must have a goal. It's my experience that real power becomes readily apparent at about 1000 unique followers. I'm not saying that anything smaller is useless. However, real movement, powerful results start with your ability to influence 1000 plus people.
If you concentrate your efforts on building your social network by providing your followers with what they are looking for (i.e. the cardinal 4 items), your network will grow at a slow but steady pace. If you want it to grow faster, provide them with what feeds their needs more often. Post to your network every day if you have time. The more often and regular you post, the better. The only other way to make it grow faster is to either spend more time on growing it or pay someone else to spend more time growing it.
What Does This Cost?
|Image via Wikipedia|
If you have, an organized method that you developed, you can hire a college student to enter your post for a lot less. As a marketing expert I can generate anywhere from about eight to twenty new followers per day. You can do the same by following my advice.
By following these six cardinal rules, you will get a lot more out of your social media marketing efforts. Remember to post the cardinal 4 items regularly. Create and stick to a schedule, even if you don't finish, stop posting when your hour is up. Set goals and limits for time and money your spending. Use aggregator tools to be more efficient and above all be patient. You know the saying. Rome was not built in a day, well that also goes for building your word of mouth social network. That will take some time also. Stick to your plan and before you know it, you will be ready to start harvesting rewards from your social media marketing campaign.
That's my opinion, I welcome yours!
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Hector Cisneros is the director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, a writer, an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows its philosophy of "Givers Gain." He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of online advertising, business networking and word-of-mouth marketing. He is president of Website Know How, Inc., a holding company for his business ventures that include: online advertising, word-of-mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and adventure sports. Hector's new book, "60 Seconds to Success," teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60-second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, social media, online marketing or word-of-mouth marketing, visit the Networker's Apprentice workshop or his book's website: http://www.60SecondsToSuccess.com.