Tag Archives: Internet Marketing

How To Adopt A Social Media Lifestyle

While most small business owners are starting to realize that social media is a necessary part of any marketing strategy, as a social media coach, the question I get most often is how to add social media to a day that is already way too full.   For those of us working as solopreneurs or small business owners, it may, at times, feel like we are working virtually around the clock so when are we really supposed to tweet, post or blog?

I’ll admit, creating a social media plan that will stick is like starting an exercise program.  You just have to take that leap and do it. You need to look at it, not as a series of social media tasks that need to be done during the day, but more of a lifestyle change that you need to incorporate into your entire way of thinking. Here are 5 tips to make the social media lifestyle change:

  • Coffee and Twitter: For most of us, a morning cup of coffee is sacred. Without one, our day cannot get off to a good start.  Try to incorporate tweeting with your morning coffee, Instead of reading the newspaper, read your stream to find interesting articles to share with your followers.  If you still need to read the paper, know that most publications these days are online and make sharing with your networks very easy. In addition to coffee first thing in the morning, take a moment or two to tweet during your mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee break as well.
  • Change the way you look at the world: Instead of walking through your day with blinders on, as most of us do, focused on the tasks we need to get done, try looking at the world with a different set of eyes.  Examine everything — images, articles, conversations you have with co-workers — and use it as fodder for posts, blogs and tweets.  This doesn’t mean that you need to be online all day, it just means changing the way you think to include a social media aspect to your day. Taking mental notes to save for your social media coffee breaks.
  • Blog on the weekend: We all know that blogging for business is one of the most important factors to getting found online. It improves our SEO, increasesour professional credibility and lets our audience know who we are and how we interact.  Blogging can also be the most time consuming part of any social media plan.  During your busy workday, as your taking in everything that is going on around you, take mental notes and save the blogging for the weekend when our schedule is more open. Most social dashboards will allow you to schedule posts to go live at a later time.
  • Set an alarm: In adopting a social media lifestyle, it works to break your social media plan into bite-sized chunks, making it more manageable during the course of a busy day.  At first, it may take some time to incorporate the social media lifestyle into your work day so setting alarms to remind you to take social media breaks – which are just as necessary as a coffee or bathroom break, can help at the beginning.
  • Be mobile: I can’t stress enough how being mobile – whether it’s with an iPad, smartphone or laptop, can help integrate social media into your lifestyle. Whether it’s waiting in line at the bank, riding the bus or taking a 5 minute water cooler break, being mobile help you to stay connected, with the ability to tweet or post right at your fingertips.

When you decide to include social media into your business and marketing strategy, it is important to be consistent and be present in order to truly engage your audience and increase your online visibility.  By adopting social media into your lifestyle, by taking short social media breaks to tweet or post, by leaving your blogging to the weekend and by looking at the world with a “social media eye,” it prevents you from feeling spread too thin – a feeling that most small business owners know all to well. 

The Five C’s of Social Media

Social Media Marketing is a funny thing. It’s a relatively new blend of marketing populated by those well versed in traditional marketing tactics along with those who are well versed in the social aspect of media. Throw in those who are flying by the seat of their pants and you have the burgeoning field of social media marketing.  While there are no real hard and fast rules when using social media to marketing your business or product, those who seem to succeed in the field tend to follow some basic, unwritten rules of the trade. And while those who don’t adhere to these rules are not necessarily doomed to fail, being welcomed into the sometimes-fickle arms of your audience is usually easier if you do. There have been many articles and blog written about the 5 C’s of Social Media, I guess it’s my turn to throw in my 2.5 cents:

  • Curiosity: When I started out in this field, I spent most of my days reading everything I could get my hands on.  It was my way of learning, forming opinions, recognizing how much I didn’t know and helping guide me towards what I wanted to know more of.  For anyone who really wants to succeed in Social Media, reading, learning, acquiring information and being curious about everything is a must.  It is through our curiosity that we are able to move forward from novice to expert.
  • Content: (This is really 4 C’s in one) Content is essential to being successful in Social Media. By both Creating and Curating relevant and quality information, you will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.  Make sharing easy for your audience and share willingly. Work with others to create content (I’ll call it Collaboration and wring another C out of it.)
  • Consistency: In order to build relationships online, engage with your audience and keep them coming back, you need to demonstrate staying power. By being consistent you create visibility, for you and your Brand. No one likes to have a conversation with someone who isn’t there. And that brings me to my next C.
  • Conversation: Success in social media, on any level, is all about the conversation. By listening and engaging with your audience you can truly develop an understanding of what they want and what they need. Use blogs, social networks and forums to join the conversation and don’t forget to Contribute (Oh, Another C!).
  • Character: Being yourself, showing your true character, is probably the most important rule in social media. It means being real, being yourself, being honest and trustworthy. By reaching out and putting your best foot forward, you will earn your audience’s trust and begin to develop a real following.

Social Media Marketing has become a quite power to be reckoned with in a relatively short time. There are those who are successful and those who are not. In my opinion, those who are successful adhere to a basic guiding principle when Cultivating their craft (one more…).  By following these basic guidelines, it is possible to be extremely successful in building your Community (number 11) through Collaboration (12) and Cooperation (Lucky 13).  Phew! I think I got them all.  Can you think of any C’s I missed?

A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I had a conversation with my friend Mike Sansone today and he told me about an interesting project of his. He’s working on a project called Dialing 8. He had spoken to me before about what it was but after our conversation today, I now think I really “get” it.

Picture it. You walk into your neighbourhood bar and sit at your favorite table. It’s a place you frequent almost everyday so you know most of the people there. As you sit down with your friends, order your favourite drink and start talking, you look over at another table and some of your other “cronies” are there, talking about something completely different. You’re interested in what they are saying so you listen, put in your two cents and then go back to your own conversation. When you have a question, you know that there will be someone close by who can help you because the bar is filled with other like-minded people, some with similar interests, some with complementary interests. The entire place is a wealth of knowledge, camaraderie and comfort.

After speaking with Mike, this is the mental picture I got of what he wants Dialing-8 to become. A virtual hangout filled with those who are well versed in social media, as well as those who need some guidance learning how to take their business from the offline world to the online arena. It can include tutorials, guidance, webinars and support. While I won’t go into all the details of the Dialing-8 project, the goal is to ensure that we can all stay strong and last long in social media. Social media is, after all, not a sprint but a marathon and while it’s easy to get caught up in initial dash, it’s those who can pace themselves that will demonstrate staying power.

After we ended our call, I started thinking about his idea. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that I like his vision. I really, really like it. As a social media consultant (or coach, as Mike would say) I’m on my own a great deal, working hard to help my clients, mostly small businesses, learn the ins and outs of social media. I love what I do but it can, at times, be isolating, working everyday as a Solopreneur. The idea of having a place to hang out with like-minded individuals, doing what I like to do best is very appealing. A place where I can go, where there will always be someone who “has my back” and a place where I can be available to help others.

Dialing-8 will launch on November 13 for a cost of $271 per year. If my math is correct (and you had better check it) it works out to 74 cents a day. If it is anything like I envision it will be, I know that it will be a wealth of knowledge, companionship and support. I encourage you to give it a try. I know I will.