The true value in using social media to find more customers for your business comes from going where the people are. It’s a basic rule of sales, based on the law of averages…the more people you have access to, the more likely you are to find people who want to buy from you. Unfortunately, some sellers translate this into thinking they need to join EVERY social media site that’s out there. People often ask me, “is there a way to update all these sites at the same time? I need to have time to work on my business too! And do I need to be on EVERY site my prospects are on?”
These are GREAT questions. If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that I recommend that you avoid services such as ping.fm that allow you to update your status on multiple social media sites at the same time. The audiences for each of these social networking sites is different, and the way you should be interacting with them is different. Plus, relationship building requires your presence.
But then how do you ever get the rest of your work done if you have to visit each site individually? You also need to be managing products, servicing customers, providing customer follow-up in order to generate reorders, etc. There are simply not enough hours in the day to add a multitude of social media sites and build relationships on all of them well.
You know what? You are absolutely right. There AREN’T enough hours in the day to be on every social media site there is, and still run your business well. And that’s why you should be choosy. As the title of this post says, less is more. Rather than trying to find every single prospect that may possibly exist on every single social networking site that’s out there (and then not be able to do the relationship-building activities required to turn them from prospects into customers), instead focus on just a few sites with the highest population of your target market.
In my opinion, the best sites for business owners to focus on are Facebook (#1…biggest social networking site with the most people who are most likely in your main demographic), Twitter (when you’ve dried up that group of family & friends and are ready to build relationships with new people), and LinkedIn (where you can connect with people that may become business partners, and who may be checking you out before they do business with you.) You may also find niche-specific groups that are specific to your target market, where you’ll be able to build the relationships that lead to success.
Now this is not to say that new sites won’t emerge in the future (and when I know about them you can be SURE I’ll write about them on my blog, so be sure you’re subscribed.) But for now, if you’re just getting your feet wet in social media, start with Facebook. Most connections are based on an underlying relationship that’s already established, and it’s a great and comfortable way to get started in social networking. Plus the viral-sharing capabilities in Facebook make it a great way to share information without spamming anyone. (And DON’T be one of those direct people posting things like “Buy my stuff!” “We’re having a SALE!” People don’t like it and they will ignore you in large measure. While you may get 1 or 2 customers from this strategy, you will gain a lot more over time if you skip the spam and employ a thoughtful content-marketing strategy.)
So remember, less is more! Don’t join every social networking site there is and overwhelm yourself. You also don’t want to get so busy with social networking that you forget your income-producing activities! By being strategic in the sites that you join, you’ll experience a lot more success in your social media marketing.
Now it’s your turn! What sites are you a part of? How do you manage the time and relationships? How does it relate to your overall business? Would LOVE to read your comments below!
Photo Credits: James Cridland, jrvetson (Creative Commons license on Flickr)
Jennifer Fong helps direct sales companies, direct sales professionals, and other home-based business owners leverage the power of social media to grow their businesses. A former direct sales company CEO and serial entrepreneur, Jennifer is passionate about teaching direct sellers how to use social media tools to enhance their businesses, while remaining true to the basics of a party plan business. She helps business owners put the principles of social media to work in a profitable way, maximizing the return on their social media investment. Visit Jennifer’s Direct Sales & Social Media blog at http://jenfongspeaks.com and subscribe to her newsletter by clicking here.
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