Business Magazine

Spread Your Wings and Become a Social Media Butterfly – Here’s How!

Posted on the 25 April 2013 by Andreaantal @andreaeantal

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to wow (or terrify) you with an insightful YouTube video about social media that I recently came across, produced by Erik Qualman.

With these staggering social networking stats, can your business afford avoiding the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others? On the flip side, if you are using these platforms, are you reaping the rewards?

To keep it rather simple, compare social media to a cocktail party, and consider your own personality at these types of social gatherings. Are you an extrovert who enjoys approaching people and sharing stories; or are you rather shy, sticking to the outskirts to avoid the crowd?

Whatever the case, the secret to success is to simply be likeable by your peers both online and off.

Whether you’re utilizing social media for your personal use or for business, here are some tips to ensure congenial relationships.

Listen, listen, and listen.

Google yourself, your business, and your industry, to see what others are saying about you and your competitors.  Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and use search terms they’d use to discover your products or services. For example, if you offer tutoring services, search “tutors in Bahrain.” Use your investigative powers to find out where you fit into the market and discover what you can offer.

People won’t like or follow you if you tell them to.

Let’s face it, you didn’t respond to that in school (hopefully), so why would you do it as an informed, independent adult? Unless you give people a reason to connect with you, don’t expect them to act on your demand. There’s a variety of ways you can invite your audience to buy into your agenda, simply by using phrases such as, “learn more about how we can help you;” or “discover the possibilities.” Link those statements to your Facebook or Twitter pages, and see the difference.

Show interest by asking questions.

Invite commentary by asking questions. Most people aren’t triggered to react unless you give them a call to action. The key to social media is about engaging  your audience. If you sell ice cream, and post on Facebook that it’s “2 for 1,” don’t expect any comments. Alternatively, if you ask “what’s your favourite flavour?” people will be compelled to comment online – and follow through on that deal. It’s all about the conversation. It’s a two-way street, and ultimately about the rules of engagement.

Share pictures and videos.

Who doesn’t love perusing photo albums? One of the biggest reasons Facebook soared to 1 billion users over the past 7 years, and Instagram quickly following suit, is photos. Remember the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” They tell stories, and these days it’s so easy with mobile phones providing a great platform to upload images and videos in real time that tell their own story.

Dedicate 30 minutes a day.

There’s a big debate about what the ideal amount of time to spend on social media is these days. But, the fact remains that there are new tools and lessons to be learned at a rapid pace, and you need to be part of it in order to monitor, learn, respond, and generally be in the loop. Realistically, the more time you spend online, the more you’ll reap the benefits.

So, how do you see yourself on social media? Are you the social butterfly at the cocktail party, or are you the wallflower who needs to improve your social skills? Not sure how? Let me give you a hand.

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