Developing social media platforms is just like developing real estate along the supernet highway. Like real estate these properties require purchasing, upgrading, maintenance and a plan for long term occupation. When real estate is left unattended vagrants, bugs, rodents and other undesirables move in. Social media also can have people making undesirable posts on your page or have others talking about you in platforms that you did not even know existed. Imagine if you went to Las Vegas and saw your name in lights advertising you doing something embarrassing or worse.
You have a name, a reputation, and a business to develop and to protect. Not participating does not mean that developments are not going on without your knowledge. The best protection is to be engaged and aware. Just like owning real estate, absent renters may be surprised by developments they are unaware of.
When potential clients check out your website their next step is often to check out you. Have you googled your own name? What is found there? That is a whole page that should be all about you. That is a page of real estate that you can easily own. The pieces of content should reflect your story. The pictures should be photos of you. Your LinkedIn profile should be top and center. Your Twitter handle should come up next. Your Facebook profile should be there and your blog should have several places on page 1, 2 and 3.
All you need to do to make this happen is simply make it happen. If you do not have the time, then hire someone to make it happen. It is too important to ignore for your long term success. It is like leaving property without occupants if you do not.
- Develop profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter first. If your market is on Pinterest and Google+ then do those as well, but definitely get the main three done. Fill in all of the blanks and make the profiles interesting.
- Use your photos on everything. Brand you to your business. Name your photos your name when you save them on your computer and add the alt tags or keyword tags to your photos whenever you can. Some branding experts say to use the same photo but we have found that using different photos causes people to recognize you better in public and makes them more familiar with you and that produces more business.
- Start a blog. A blog that is attached to your WordPress website will help you get more traffic to your site but it also features you as an industry leader. Then you start showing up on page 1 of Google as an expert when your name is searched and sometimes for other subjects as well.
- Consistency is key. Start a Hootsuite account and automate Twitter and LinkedIn to post interesting statements, good questions, and great tips 4 times a day. Facebook should change a post about twice a week to keep people interested. Consistency is like property management. You need to be sure the plumbing is running right and that the grass got mowed so everything is spiffy when guests pop by to have a look at your property. Automating can help you be consistent when you are busy. In an hour you can put together the main posts for the next month. Then you can be spontaneous when there is something special going on as well.
Buy your property, own your property and care for your property. Be an engaged property owner for better results and create more interest from those rushing by on the internet highway!
Kerry George is the owner of the Canadian Imperial Business Network which is currently the largest business network in Alberta and rapidly expanding across the country. She is a serial entrepreneur/author and speaker with a zest for life and a passion to help others succeed in increasing their potential and their bottom line. Kerry has several publications and blogs that you can follow and welcomes most interaction online.