There is a lot of buzz around getting on social media platforms & connecting with others to promote your business. Every now & then you’ll see a guy in a suit explaining how social media is important & how you can find leads through it. 99% of these people talk out of their rear ends & don’t have a clue not only how & when social media can benefit you, but likely have no idea how to run a serious business. In reality, very often getting on social media platforms can be a major waste of time & cancer to your productivity. If an investor looked at the resources spent & ROI, the person would think you were insane or a fool. Almost every person I know spends over an hour daily typing nonsense on their profiles back & forth, many cases extend to a few hours & some spend almost their entire day reading useless messages & watching “entertaining” videos. Think how much these people could have achieved if they spent that time on something useful. For some business types online presence is a mandatory, mostly because their business is an online business, for others it’s just about image & reputation.
So what can social media be useful for?
- Connecting with people you know, but are not in touch with. What does this mean for you? This means it’s probably a good idea to set up a profile & get linked with people you know. You are likely to have some childhood friends & neighbors that you would never talk to again, but many of them are likely to find you on the internet. So what’s your objective? Simply connect to as many people as you know & have something on your profile that tells everybody what you do. This way you build a potential referral network. What you don’t want to do, however, is get involved in conversations & chats and other time spenders. You basically just want to set it & leave, have it connected to your email so you get notified if someone tries to message you something that could be useful for your business. Once in a while you can login & post something about your business, maybe something useful you were able to do for your client (never mention names), basically a success story. At this point you are all set.
- Use it as a newsletter for your customers. Having a separate page for your customers can be beneficial, usually when you have already been in the business for some time & have a solid customer base. For a startup it’s generally useless & waste of time. Having your customers connected to your profile is beneficial for notifying them of your new services or specials you might be running and basically just to make sure they don’t forget about you & start using somebody else’s service instead of yours. Having a sense of measure is very important here, don’t be annoying, be useful.
How to not get sucked into the flow?
Track the time spent on your online activities, be it your profile, website, fanpage, whatever. If you spend more than 15 minutes combined on all of them daily, you are wasting your time.