As social media continually immerses itself into our daily lives with sites such as Twitter, Facebook, blogging and recently the location based social media application, Foursquare, it is important to make sure we are using it correctly and to its greatest potential. There are many aspects of social media that can beneficially impact you both socially and professionally.
According to one of Scott Hepburn’s Emerging Media blog posts, he responded to a question posed on LinkedIn by Communication-Education Lifestylist, Erica Pryor about the type of advice one would give to a “micro-business or freelancer considering using social media for their business development needs.” Hepburn added these valuable refreshers about social media practices that I thought would be fundamental to pass on to all of you avid social media users.
1. Be Valuable. “Whatever platforms you choose — blogging, Twitter, video, a combination of tools — create and share useful information with people. Think first about what others need, then create.”
2. Be Patient. “Generating leads and new business via social media and social networking takes time. If you need immediate income, other vehicles might work better. On the other hand, if you commit to building your network and delivering value over the long haul, the rewards will be far greater over the course of your career.”
3. Promote Others. “While you’re feeling the pressure of your immediate income needs, you’ve gotta resist the urge to focus just on you. Help others achieve THEIR goals, and it’ll come back to you tenfold.”
4. Set Goals. “Start with small goals — no need to bite off more than you can chew. One mistake a lot of people make in social media is thinking they have to do everything, be everywhere, and know everyone. Focus on one achievable goal at a time.”
5. Help Someone Else. “See a theme emerging? You may be uber-talented, but the key to getting someone to part with their money isn’t being talented…it’s solving a problem. Everyone out there has a need — how can you help them resolve that need?”
6. Step Away From the Computer. “My biggest weakness is using social networking as a crutch. I spend too much time “building relationships” and “engaging” with people who can’t help me grow my business. You have to step away from Twitter, pick up the phone, pound the streets, schedule meetings, send emails, follow up, follow up, follow up. Nobody is as attuned to your need for income as you are, so you can’t count on them to come to you with checkbooks open. You have to go ask for the business.”
We know nowadays, an online presence is vital for networking and communicating, but we must remember to do it effectively so we can reach our targeted audiences. According to ezinearticles, not having your details on the Internet can cause you to miss out on three hours everyday when you could be reaching out to 90 million users. In addition, most businesses (today) have a web presence, so it is important to show your knowledge and promote your “tech-savvy” skills when searching for a job upon graduation.
So…what advice might you add about successful social media, networking and online presence?