As I said in my post about the war going on between social media and blogging, distractions are everywhere…
The social media niche is huge nowadays. Hundreds of bloggers (including me) are writing guides, providing tips and creating infographics to help you get the point of it all. Part of the information can be put to a good use while part of it is time wasted. Some headlines get you to click, others don’t.
As useful as all of this might be and as much as it might help you get the hang of that thing called social media, it is really just part of the story. Building followers and turning your service or startup into a money maker involves more.
Then how do you go about achieving that goal?
With the below paragraphs I will try to give you some direction as to how to approach all of the content available, how to make the most out of it and of course how to make your social media efforts just a pinch more effective
So you are a newbie… or you have jumped into it 4-5 months ago? Well that doesn’t really matter. The truth is that many folks are there but don’t really know why.
There are all kinds of stories…
My brother told me Facebook’s great for marketing – why not sign up and start sending messages to everyone about my business without caring whether they want it or not!(see “6 Fishy Facebook Strategies“)
I just read a post on Twitter, now I will create an account, follow a thousand folks and let all of them know how great that eBook of mine is! (see “5 Bad Twitter Habits“)
Is that the case? I’d say cut the crap and check out the above links instead!
2. Plan of Attack, Do You Have it?
The plan of attack means choosing where to focus your attention, developing some sort of a strategy and targeting the right people.
So to get going, you need to first do a bit of a research…
Even if you haven’t yet started to drill deep into Twitter, Facebook or any major network, you are probably getting some referral traffic. Google Analytics (or Clicky Analytics; see “Clicky Review“) are good starting points. Bounce rates, pageviews, time on site – a lot of metrics can give you an idea.
Secondly there’s the competition. That is probably the best way to learn about your target audience. Simply checking your competitors’ profiles, tweets, Facebook updates can show you the way…
Thirdly there are the next paragraphs, keep reading!
3. Reading is Good, Doing is Better though
So you want results?
Reading is crucial. I used to do it a lot back in the days when I started. I was reading like 10 posts an hour. Although the guides were super-detailed and gave me a lot of hints, once I decided it is time, I was still in the dark.
It’s like learning HTML. The theory is one thing but once you start putting your first lines of code, as easy as it seemed, you get stuck at a certain point, not knowing how to move on… And that is when you really start seeing the big picture.
What I’m saying is that the sooner you realize reading is often an excuse not to start, the closer you will be to building your following.
4. 50% of Your Time to One, 50% for the Rest
That is just a rough calculation of course (similar to the one I gave in my post “Social Media Versus Blogging“). But wait a minute… what exactly am I referring to?
Audible results require time. My approach when it comes to social media was to put my effort towards one single site.
In my case it was Twitter. When I began that was THE platform for me. I was spending hours and hours. I discovered the tools and the strategies and after two years I’m just about to hit 50,000 followers.
In the meantime however I hadn’t embraced any other platform. And that was a bad move…
Instead I had to go for the 50/50 principle that I am following now. What I basically do is focus on tweeting, while keeping an eye on both Google+ and Facebook. Thanks to that approach, I got close to 200 new Facebook fans in a month, which is an increase of almost 100%!
So in short, focus on one, embrace more than one.
5. Should You be Joining Every Network?
And then comes the question, is every networking site out there worth it? Is joining each and every newly-released platform good for you or are you wasting precious time, trying to be everywhere?
As far as I’m concerned, there is no definitive answer to that question… There are the pros, but there are also the cons….
Of course as you start conquering more and more ground, you will get to know new and different people. The reality is that not everyone who uses Twitter is also on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. The reality is that you won’t find diversity in just a single network, no matter how many millions of users there are.
In the end it is all about striking a balance. Basically three factors have to align:
- Is that new social media platform worth it?
- If it’s worth it, do you have the time to make the most out of it?
- Won’t getting into it hurt your performance on the networks, where you have already established a presence?
So that’s about it. That’s the way I believe social media should be tackled and that is how my time is really paying off with solid results in the form of traffic, subscribers and buyers.