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What Should You “Say” in Social Media?

I’ve spent a good amount time here telling about time-saving tools for creating and evaluating results in social media, but an area that is too little discussed is the content of your messages in these places.

When it comes to media like Facebook and Twitter, you need to first be very aware of the unique culture that exists within them, and find your place there, much as you do in your brick-n-mortar (physical) community. This article will focus on Twitter, the much misunderstood micro-blogging platform.

Some thoughts and rules to help you:

  1. Earn the right to be heard
    Twitter is a great tool for quick ways to meet people and become acquainted with what they do or offer. But if you want your message to be heard, you need to develop trust between you and the other party. It’s more like traditional relationships than many people realize.

  2. Follow with a purpose
    It’s important to follow others, as you’d like to be followed on Twitter, but limit your following to those with relevance to you. Large numbers don’t really benefit you and a community that cares is what you build with relevance. Include current or past customers, those in your target demographic groups and others in your industry or niche.If you’re connected via Facebook or Linked-In, you strengthen that connection by following them.

  3. Avoid robotic functions
    While I do recommend automating and simplifying as much of the mechanics of social media as is practical, this is one area where I warn against it.

    There are applications out there that you can use to automatically follow someone who follows you, but that flies against the reason for social networking in the first place.  It removes the human-to-human connection completely and leaves you with software connecting with other software.

  4. Socialize!
    If you want to build a high degree of respect and deeper relationships with those who take the time to interact with you, you need to engage in authentic conversations. The process can be fun, enlightening, and often directly if not indirectly beneficial to your business. Some have said that this is the price of admission to the “Twitterverse.”

  5. Hold that pitch
    Newbies to social media often start right in with broadcasting their latest new product or a sale or something along those lines.  This is not appropriate in these media and often result in the opposite of the desired results.

    Instead, hone in on the conversations around your industry or product and look toward adding value to those conversations.  You’ll build a bridge of trust over time and then it may become acceptable to deliver a pitch.  More often though, you won’t need to, as others will seek you out or refer others to you.

    You’ll  know when it’s time and if you’ve provided things like reference links, advice, or answers to questions, they’ll come looking for you.

  6. Be yourself and have fun
    The subtext of the social media genre is that it’s like hanging out with friends, or being at a mixer where you’re surrounded by potential sales prospects, but you are there to have fun and be social. For some, online socializing is easier than face-to-face (pity). For others, it’s the reverse.  I recommend that you finish thinking about it and start doing it, to see how it feels.And of course, I now get my opportunity to pitch a little:  I can help by being your guide.  BGAmedia sets up presences on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and other networks, we connect your conversations with automated tools, we offer measurement and evaluation, as well as content creation services. I’m always happy to share my experiences in the field with those who want to do it themselves, so don’t hesitant to contact me for more information.

One Response to “What Should You “Say” in Social Media?”

  1. Linda says:

    Thank you Bob for these great & informative articles.
    Always a help.