Happy New Year and welcome to 2012! A new year means a new chance to review how you are reaching your clients and if you are really making the most out of your social media outlets. In a world saturated with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked In, Google + and a whole number of other social media platforms, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or lost in the shuffle. Why not take some time at the beginning of the year to reassess what you currently are (or are not) doing to utilize social media as a vehicle of reaching new clients.
Here are five simple steps you could take in order to clean up your Internet presence this year:
1) Create: First and foremost, it is important to make sure that you and your business have and online presence. Think about how many people you could be reaching by simply creating a Facebook page or a blog. Check out this link for a great, comprehensive list of 50 of the best social media platforms out there just waiting for you to become a member!
2) Consolidate: So, you’re already online. In fact, you’re on so many websites it’s easy to forget which password goes with which login. It’s easy to get excited and sign up for each and every single social networking site out there. Why not cut that list down to 3 or 4 outlets that you know you will be able to handle? Consider what function each site serves. Facebook is great to reach mass amounts of people with your upcoming events. Twitter is best at providing quick, short information, like links or a promotion. But you need a website, Etsy page, Facebook page, or blog to link up to. Etsy allows you to actually sell your products, and your blog allows you to go to share your story and build a following. Find out which sites work best for you and stick to just those.
3) Commit: Just like it’s easy to overpopulate your online presence, it’s just as easy to ignore it. We all go through dry spells in our personal social networking, and we can assume that our friends wont forget about us. Can the same thing be said about your clients? Perhaps, but why test it? Create a schedule for yourself for your social media publishing and work that schedule into your weekly work schedule. There are some really great sites out there that do just that. Check out Later Bro, which allows you to schedule your tweets.
4) Correspond: One of the major ways that you can get the most out of your social media presence is by actually interacting with your followers. It’s easy enough to post something once or twice a day, but that’s also a quick way to get lost in the fray. By corresponding with your follows you are giving them a reason, outside of your work, to come back and check your page. You could create a poll, have a contest, or host an online chat – there are many ways you can interact with your clients online.
5) Comment: Not all of the action you do online has to be on your own sites. A great way to get the word out about your own company is to comment on the blogs or respond to tweets that are related to your own business. An easy way to do this is to get up a Google Reader account. From here you can subscribe to blogs that are congruous to your own interests. Then, in your comments, you can respond to the blogger and leave a link mentioning your own blog, website, or other social media account.
Social media marketing is such a powerful way to promote your business, but it is still relatively new, so don’t be afraid to experiment! If you find that a particular platform isn’t producing the kind of results worthy of the time you’re putting into it – get rid of it! Just make sure to capture any information you can about your followers – and always make sure to let your followers know where else they can find you.