It’s easy to post a Facebook status or Tweet. It’s difficult to build something that means value with these easy tools. Social media is a powerful distribution channel to point to your real work. It is metawork; it is work which refers to your real work.
The real work is the value you provide day in and day out with your service or product offering. Social media augments your real daily work by helping people pay attention and keep up. It also creates another two-way channel of communication for interaction between you and your potential buyers and referral sources.
Don’t confuse building something with being a social media junkie. Talking about something and delivering something are two different things entirely. The goal should be to use the tools of your enterprise for what they are meant to do. Social media is another system which should be part of your overall business that you are building. It is an access point which needs to be nurtured and managed with care and creativity.
Your Story And Your Audience
If you have process transparency per our previous chapter, then telling your story in an ongoing and engaging manner becomes as much a part of your allure and brand as delivering the goods. Building something means there must be something which connects you to your audience in an ongoing way.
An audience is the greatest asset you can have for your business. They are following and paying attention. They are engaged with your story. It is what differentiates your offering. When you are embedded into your service or products, then you are irreplaceable in the mind of your customers. It is what makes the essence of your brand work.
David Allen (www.davidco.com), the productivity guru of the book and movement, Getting Things Done, built something that has an international audience. His story and approach is part of the message. He sells books, workshops, coaching and consulting to businesses and business people worldwide. His audience is tuned in and listening.
He makes use of social media as everyone does today, but his hub is his blog and newsletter. These connect with his large audience in a consistent way.
Furthermore, he has a forum which helps reinforce the methodology for the thousands of practitioners of his productivity approach.
Social media augments his core content which is published to his eager audience. He sends out Tweets and Facebook posts pointing back to events and his content to drive people further into his hub.
All the while, his story is continually being told in a personal way and magnified through social media and word-of-mouth evangelism by his audience. It is a great example of building something, nurturing an audience and amplifying the brand and message via social media. The core is always within the David Allen systems on his site.
Likewise, avoid getting into the social media business. It is a tool which needs to play its role in building your audience which engages your story on your own content systems. But be sure to use the full power of social media to build your brand and invite people into your story.
Using Twitter And Facebook
There are many books explaining the use of social media and online marketing strategies. The focus of this book is not on those topics, though you can find much about the topic at my company’s blog, http://blog.ascendworks.com. I do want to share some high level strategies that will help you use Twitter and Facebook practically. These are the two leading social media platforms as of this writing and the millions of users on these platforms make them important to your strategy for promoting your enterprise.
Where Your Audience Hangs Out
The audiences on Twitter and Facebook are different and find certain personas more appealing than others. I look at each platform as follows:
- Business-to-Business (B2B) audience
- Content focused
- Knowledge sharing
- Current events
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C) audience
- Relationship focused
- Promotions and stories
- Graphics and pictures attract
You may use both in your strategy. The crowds, conversations and demeanors are different. If you are a B2B business then you will want to focus heavily on Twitter. If you sell software to accounting firms, books to business executives or copywriting services to small businesses, Twitter is an ideal way to promote your work and your knowledge.
If you are a B2C business, then Facebook allows you to create a social aspect and grouping of your fans. Restaurants, sports teams and shoe companies fit in this realm. They may have promotions and coupons to promote on a Facebook page as well as continual customer stories and pictures which tell their story.
Keeping your social profile and posts updated creates brand awareness. Thus, be committed when picking your platform.
Of course, there are many other social media avenues such as LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Google Plus 1 and Yelp. It’s hard to have a number 2 position. The mass of users on the platform creates its value. Thus, the biggest games are with Twitter and Facebook. On the internet, it is merciless. One platform typically wins.
If you are in a niche industry, then take a look at them. My advice is to be sure you will remain committed. It takes time and focus to keep these systems up. It damages your brand when you let them go stale. The mix you choose should be tried and then measured for effectiveness based on the traffic it drives to your main site and blog as well as pure revenue.
The real work of what you do needs to be positioned on your hub – your platforms, rather than Twitter or Facebook’s. Use the latter two for driving attention to your information assets.