The Output-Input Balancing Act of Social Networking
Have you ever been part of a conversation where one person is doing all of the talking? You can’t get a word in edgewise and you find a way to leave as soon as possible.
The same thing happens in our online networking on social media. There are some rules of etiquette that are understood by most participants that some just don’t get — like the person who controls the conversation or an over enthusiastic salesman who won’t let you say “no thanks.”
It’s a balancing act, trying to fit a fair amount of “sales” talk in with just being a person and sharing your thoughts. But the golden rule applies here: treat others the way you would like to be treated.
The goal of being active on social media should above all be about people and making meaningful, lasting relationships with them. And there are a few things to take a look at while building your community:
Who you are networking with
It’s so important to have the right followers in your community — not just a large number. In order to attract the right audience your business needs to be where they are, whether at offline meeting events, in webinars, live video, Twitter chats, ect. As you invest more time in reaching out to them your social networks will start to grow organically.
Focus on what to share
As you begin to dive deeper into conversations online your brand will soon discover what people are wanting to find out in order to make their lives better, save time, money, ect. Seek out like-minded groups and communities where you can share helpful comments and information, and build stronger relationships.
Spread the word on multiple channels
Use tools and services like Meet Edgar, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, IFTTT, and Buffer to reduce your work time yet share to multiple places at once. For example, create a short live video or slide show about the latest news or tips. You can also host a weekly chat on Twitter where your community can gather around a specific topic and share their thoughts.
Set aside specific time for marketing
When you make it a point to create a regular, scheduled calendar of sharing and interacting on social media you will find that your efforts will not become overwhelming — which can cause you to give up all together. With the use of the resources mentioned above or by enlisting the help of a freelancer your business can create a specific block of time dedicated to building your online community without having to sacrifice growing your sales.
Learn from your fans and followers
Pay attention to how others participate and learn from the ones you come to respect. A good rule of thumb is to limit your conversations to useful, helpful tips mixed with a bit of personal topics and a bit of “come visit my site” topics. You find the mix that works for you.
Remember that being social does have its few rules of civility. Respect other people’s time and they will respect yours, too. Learn to listen well, respond cheerfully, advise kindly, gripe minimally, promote respectfully and have fun! You’ll be surprised at how valuable the feedback from your audience is to your future business efforts.