Why your social network activity fails to drive more business
So, you heard this social media thing is all the rage, and decided to give it a go. You set up some profiles, sent out a few updates, followed a handful of people, and expected the interest and traffic to come charging in. You got…nothing. You’re asking yourself, “What have I done wrong?”
1. You only get back what you put in
Social media is not the goose that laid the golden egg – you won’t get results without working for them! There is no reason for social media users, be they on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, to become involved with you if you’re not providing something of value. Providing valuable content requires work, time and creativity. You must put effort into becoming part of these online communities. Otherwise, you’re just the guy who walks into the party and expects to be the center of attention right away.
2. You have no network
Social media is called “social media” because you need to be – yes – social. You can post as much as you like, but if no one’s reading your posts, they won’t have much value.
The bigger the network of people you’re communicating with, the further your message will reach. More new people could get interested in becoming part of your network. It’s a snowball effect.
The hardest part is investing your time in finding relevant people to communicate and link up with. You can research people in your industry, those with shared interests and so on. Then you start talking to improve your visibility.
Try using search.twitter.com to search for words relevant to your industry. You can then start following the people you find who say the most interesting things and communicate often.
You can also use Twitter directories such as Twellow.com to find your clients, suppliers, or close contacts. Following them is another way to start building your network. You can use Facebook search and LinkedIn search in a similar way.
The very best way to find the real influencers in your industry is to slowly build your follow lists through interaction, and pay attention to the people who contribute the most valuable information.
3. You’re broadcasting, not interacting
Picture social media as a party. Who’s going to be more popular, the guy standing in the corner just telling passing guests what he does over and over again – or the guy meeting and greeting people in a personable way, listening to their stories and sharing funny jokes? It’s obvious. You need to become the personable, interesting guy.
The trick is to think outside your brand. If you just talk about your own business, you’ll be boring. Be more like a real person – demonstrate your interest in a range of subjects and topics that people can comment on.
4. You’re not sharing
Interacting is good, but it becomes great if you’re sharing things that people actually want to know. People often share interesting news or funny stories in social media. Twitter has achieved popularity – and growth – because professionals find it great for sharing expertise and industry knowledge.
If you can share your expertise, and position yourself as a source of truly valuable information, you’ll have a great chance to build an appreciative network. You’ll also be building a positive brand image and reputation, and have a better chance of being first in people’s minds when they need your product or service.
5. You’re socially invisible
For more social media marketing advice, read our other articles about social media.
This article was written by Joel Lumsden.
Joel Lumsden of Attacat, an Edinburgh SEO and Internet marketing agency, is 6’4” of enthusiasm for online marketing. He’s covered website management, paid search and SEO over the past six years for small and large companies in the public and private sectors, including charities, airlines, accommodation sites and leading UK service providers.