- Using Twitter for Your Small Business
- Don’t Miss out on Free Facebook Marketing Opportunities
- Don’t Miss out on Free Facebook Marketing Opportunities (Part 2)
- 12 Ways to Create an Effective Facebook Page
- LinkedIn Profile Secrets: The #1 Reason Why Your LinkedIn Profile Fails to Attract More Prospects
- Small Business Guide to Twitter
- LinkedIn Marketing: Should You Think of Your LinkedIn Profile as a Resume
- What to Say on Twitter, Facebook and Other Social Media Sites?
When it comes to social media, one of the first questions asked by home business entrepreneurs is: “What will I say on Twitter or Facebook? How will I use these social media sites?”
Experts typically say that you need to have a communications strategy that matches the social medium and the tool.
Advertising giant Ogilvy created a chart that outlined possible strategies on Twitter, who the followers should be, what type of content is applicable to these strategies and how you could engage your followers. In the chart, engagement typically involves asking and answering questions, responding to comments, and jumping in the conversations.
I’ve tried these engagement suggestions and commented on what others were saying, and posted my own questions to my followers. But I’ve always been unsure about their worth and effectiveness. While I may have 4,000+ followers on Twitter, I could never get a huge number of followers to answer my questions (and sometimes even, I get no answer at all). It makes me envious of those who are capable of generating loads of responses to what I think are “inane” questions (e.g. “Do you like brocolli?” which one web development expert asked once and received several dozen responses).
Two interesting articles seem to validate my concerns about the effectiveness of doing conversations on social media.
Social media guru Dan Zarrella recently posted the results of his study on the relationship between follower count and the percentage of a user’s tweets that contain links and are not replies. He found that “highly followed users are less conversational than those with few followers” and that
As the amount of links a user tweets increases the number of followers they have also increases. And users with more than 1,000 followers tend to tweet many more links than users with fewer than 1,000 followers.
The data is starting to mount to suggest that “engaging in the conversation” is a waste of time from a marketing and reach-building perspective, especially when compared to sharing content.
Zarella’s data shows that sharing links to information seems to have more impact than simply answering questions such as whether you like broccoli or not.
Eric Gruber in his article “Social Media Strategy: Providing Content Should Be First Priority” hammers the same point the focusing on conversations will not bring you new business through social media. He wrote:
How is posting a comment like: “What are your top 5 favorite things about summer” going to help a realtor get more leads? You may get 100 people commenting on their favorite things, but it doesn’t build credibility, sales and business relationships. It doesn’t show me why I should go to you for my real estate needs if I am looking to buy or sell a house in that realtor’s area. It doesn’t differentiate you from your competition.
Instead, Gruber suggests that your primary focus should be to provide quality content. That will allow you to show others that you are an expert, someone to respect, someone to listen to, and someone to do business with.
No one is saying that you can’t engage in conversations and light hearted chit chat on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. But don’t be shy in talking about your own work, products and writings; and by all means, share them on social media sites. If you want to be seen as an expert, share any readings or tips you’ve come across.
Start by defining your own goal — is it to get leads for your business, attract radio hosts and writers for various publicity opportunities, or simply to be known as an expert in your field. Then make sure that you constantly share quality content about your topic — in 140 characters or less.