Thursday, April 7, 2011

5 Ways to Add Value to your Social Media...

Imagine this. You go to a party, an ordinary social function and you see “that girl”. The one you would rather avoid because she absolutely never stops selling. Everything that comes out of her mouth has something to do with how she can solve all your problems with her product. Annoying, right? Don’t you avoid her at all costs?

Well, try thinking of facebook as a party.

Just like that real life party – if you never stop selling, it will change the way people view your business (or choose not to) online.

When you are at a party, meeting people, you actively contribute to the conversation with useful information. You don’t walk around telling everyone to buy from you, buy from you, buy from you. So, why is it that so many people do that on Social Media? I am guessing it’s because that is all they know. I would like to help in changing that.

I worked with a client last week who paid me the best compliment. Not only did he say that I did a good job with the work I provided, but that I “added value” to his site.

With that, I thought I would provide 5 simple ways that you can add value to your Social Media experience. And, when you add value, you will gain more fans and followers!

1. Provide relevant, timely information. Like it or not, over 1 million people spend time on facebook everyday. If you can provide articles, videos and links that help them, they will continue to come back. For example, you are a catering company and it’s just after Thanksgiving. Maybe you could find an article that gives interesting uses for leftover turkey. Or you are a dog care company and can provide tips for keeping your pets healthy and safe during whatever season we are in.

2. Be a part of the conversation. I am all for tools that make social media easier and less time consuming, but if we go back to the cocktail party analogy, they don’t really provide for conversation. It’s most definitely a two way street. If you aren’t active on facebook itself, your “fans” will notice and realize you are only there to sell, which could be a huge turn off.

3. Promote other people’s businesses. What a great way to promote your power partnerships and the people you recommend. This makes you valuable as a “go-to” guy or gal. It will create the assurance that if someone needs something, even if it isn’t related to your business, you will know someone and be able to refer them to someone you know and trust.

4. Don’t sell all the time. I think this point speaks for itself. No one likes anyone who doesn’t stop selling, and if all you ever do is talk about you and your product, “fans” will un-like your page or hide it from their feed. Either result takes you out of their “top of mind”.

5. Keep the conversation going offline. Social media is just that…social. When you create relationships through online venues, be sure to take them off the computer. Meet for coffee or lunch. Get to know one another and how you might each help one another.

What are some other things you have observed?