Natalie Sisson is a Kiwi Entrepreneur and adventurer. As Founder of WomanzWorld.com, she is passionate about getting more women into business and helping aspiring entrepreneurs on their journey. Check out her most recent blog at Forbes!
Many small businesses are dabbling in Social Media to create more visibility for their brand, products and services. Some are even using it to generate leads and sales. If you’re not taking advantage of these amazing free tools to benefit your business yet, start here.
What exactly is Social Media?
It’s a phenomenon experiencing incredible growth and for that very reason alone you need to have a social media presence and strategy.
Here are examples of Social Media sites:
- Social Bookmarking. (Del.icio.us, Blinklist, Simpy) Interact by tagging websites and searching through websites bookmarked by other people.
- Social News. (Digg, Propeller, Reddit) Interact by voting for articles and commenting on them.
- Social Networking. (Facebook, Twitter, Last.FM) Interact by adding friends, commenting on profiles, joining groups and having discussions.
- Social Photo and Video Sharing. (YouTube, Flickr) Interact by sharing photos or videos and commenting on user submissions.
- Wikis. (Wikipedia, Wikia) Interact by adding articles and editing existing articles.
Basically any website that invites you to interact with the site and with other visitors falls into the definition of social media. Let’s get started!
Exercise 1: Laying the Foundation
Sure, you’ve hung out on Facebook®. Followed some folks on Twitter®. Made a bunch of connections on LinkedIn®. But now it’s time to make these networks work harder for you. These are the three most powerful social networks to be on both personally and professionally, so at the very least you should have set up a profile on them.
What you need for your profile:
- Got a photo? Make sure people know you’re not a faceless business. Use this on every profile.
- Make sure your profile represents your personal brand. If you haven’t already, create your personal paragraph that sums up who you are and why you’re awesome.
- Include as much as you’re comfortable sharing about yourself. The more you add, the better these tools can help you connect. But remember there are some things colleagues and clients don’t need to know.
- Include searchable keywords, but don’t get spammy. Think about words that you’re customers would use to search for you and your business and add 5-6 of these.
- Keep it current. Update your profiles regularly. Set up a system to store your login information to refer to easily, plus bookmark each site on your browser (Firefox or Google Chrome are the best).
Exercise 2: Strengthen your Core
Kick off your new social media regimen by developing new habits and cleaning up your memberships:
- Make sure your Facebook®, LinkedIn® and Twitter® profiles are up to date. If you don’t have one then set one up today.
- Create a Google® public profile. This will give you access to alerts and rich information down the road. And your Google profile makes it easy for the public to search and find you. If you don’t already have one, start by opening a Google account.
- If you haven’t already set up a Google Alert for your name and your business at a minimum so you know where you’re being mentioned and featured on the web.
- Use the same name on each site to make yourself easier to find. For example I use NatalieSisson and WomanzWorld.
Put aside 30 minutes for each exercise this week and you’ll already be feeling great.
Best of luck in your quest for social media fitness!