About three years ago, I wrote a three-part series on Creating an Effective Online Presence but that was before I understood anything about social media. Now if you are going to have an effective online presence, social media is one aspect that can help put you on the cyber map.
I am not a social media expert by any means but I want to share with you the sites I have a presence on and how I use them to leverage my opportunities and to promote my business.
I keep coming back to one of the tenants of my Inside Out Empowerment process, Relationship is the root of all influence. People tend to do business with people they like and trust. When you are on the Internet, it is difficult for people to distinguish you from all the others out there operating in your same niche. This can be done through writing articles and/or blogging. But now social media has created another stage for you to allow potential customers to get to know you in a different way.
LinkedIn: On LinkedIn, you get to create a profile of your business, get recommendations from others who have used your services and network with people you know and the people they know.
Facebook: I personally like facebook best. This is where you can connect with people you know. No one can follow you and your posts unless you approve them and you can block them if you choose. Facebook is more conducive to conversation because the length of your posts is not limited. You can post links and videos. You can make new friends there.
Twitter: Twitter works best if you can say what you need to say in 140 characters of less. This is a challenge for me but Im working on it. You can post comments on what you are doing or link to longer articles and information sources.
MySpace: This used to be the place to network but I believe it has been surpassed by facebook. I still find many entertainers use it because you can add a lot of things to your page, e.g. music, video, etc. You can leave public comments, send bulletins, and post status updates.
YouTube: This is an excellent site to promote what you do in video. You can do a 5 10 minute clip and viewers will get a sense of what you have to offer.
I use all of these sites to promote my business with the exception of Youtube. I dont have video yet but I will be adding it in a few months. I am very excited about that. However, I dont profess to be an expert at any of them.
There are experts available to help you through the process and some very good books written on the subjects. Here is what I recommend.
For LinkIn, read How to REALLY use LinkedIn by Jan Vermeiren and/or Im on LinkedInNow What??? by Jason Alba.
For Facebook, I like Mari Smith at marismith.com. Also, check out Facebook: The Missing Manual by E. Vander Veer and/or Facebook Cookbook: Building Applications to Grow Your Facebook Empire by Jay Goldman.
For Twitter, check out Carrie Wilkerson at carriewilerson.com. Also, be sure to check out Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time by Joel Comm, Anthony Robbins, and Ken Burge and/or Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets by Paul McFedries and Pete Cashmore.
For MySpace look at MySpace Marketing: The Promotional Revolution 2nd Edition by Nick Jag and for YouTube try YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller.
The best tip I have is to remember you are trying to build your business. Make sure what you put out there is the way you want others to perceive you. And have fun building your networks.
Kim Olver is a life and relationship coach. She has consulted on training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles. She is an internationally recognized speaker, having worked in Australia, Europe, Africa, Canada and the United States. She is the author of Leveraging Diversity at Work and the creator of the new, revolutionary process called, Inside Out Empowerment.