Friday, February 11, 2011

The Five Step Success Cycle in Social Media

Social media success is easy, right? You register on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or whatever site and start sending messages or particpating in discussions. How hard can it be?

You may be right. If all you want to do is talk to other people about what you had for lunch, what your kids are doing today or those big plans for the weekend then there isn't anything left to do but enjoy. 

If your desire is to make serious connections for your business, then you really need to take notice, because there is a lot more to it than just participation. Without a plan, a real plan, you will be spinning your wheels. Social media can be time consuming if you don't have a plan and some structure. 

There are five must-have's for every business or business person using social media as a tool for building their business.

1. Set a social media strategy. What you say and do in the offline world doesn't necessarily work as well in social media. Attention spans are shorter and people don't like the hard sell. Who do you want to do business with? Target them.

2. Establish a presence. Make sure all profiles and descriptions make full use of keywords and the important details people should know about you or your business. Be consistent across all sites. 

3. Make a commitment to continually expand your reach. This is done by selectively finding your best customers, not just anyone that happens to come along. It doesn't mean you screen people out if they want to connect, but you will only search for those people that would be a good customer or contact for you. Remember, target marketing. 

4. Nurture relationships with your target audience. Join in conversations. Offer free advice. Help them get to know you...as a person. 

5. Maintain communications with your network. This means you consistently need to be active in the social media sites you choose to participate in. It doesn't mean you spend every waking moment on your sites, but it does mean each day you put some time into it. This is probably the toughest of the five. Scheduling and limiting your time is the best solution for not going overboard. 

If your company has the funds to hire someone to handle your social media, this is a possible answer to the time crunch. If not, organization and scheduling will be imperative to success in social media. 

If you want to connect with me, please send me an invitation on LinkedIn-see below. Please mention this article and where you saw it. I love to expand my connections. 

What do you think?  Are there more ways to be a success in social media?  Please make your comments below.  Questions about these five steps? Contact me at the email below.

Cindy Neky 
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