What I’m listening to: Daydreaming by Middle Brother
Another slow week, but not unexpected. I have two client projects due to hit my desk, and it will be about the time I get busy on something else that they both come in. I have some smaller projects, and I’m ramping up the contacts for my April trade show.
I’ve been trying out a new social media management platform lately. One of the features is a section called “Consider to Unfollow” which highlights people who either aren’t following you or who aren’t engaged. You can see at a glance the relationship (following or not following you) and the tweeting activity of each person/business.
As I went down the list of 90+ suggested unfollows, I began to see a pretty disturbing pattern: most of these people hadn’t tweeted in months. Some of them hadn’t been near Twitter in years.
Why that’s a misfire for small business owners (which includes you, freelance writer):
- Your name just disappeared from your follower’s rolls (and memory)
- Your networking sucks (and I don’t even have to know you to know that)
- The inactivity shouts “I don’t know what I’m doing!”
- Or worse, it says “I’m here only to promote and only when I need something”
- You’re sending the message that you’re only here because you think you need to be (or you’re bored with it already, which is a worse message)
- You’re missing a golden opportunity to gain name recognition and yes, even customers
You don’t have to spend your day doing nothing but post on social media. In fact, many platforms exist that allow you to post to multiple accounts at once.
So how do you make the most of your social media and not become an absolute pest about it?
Have a plan. Not everything you tweet needs to be thought out to the Nth degree, but do have an idea of where you’re going with your communication. Think of it this way — social media is networking is marketing is branding is name recognition is how you land clients. It’s your virtual brochure and your networking event in one handy location.
Know your message. Part of that includes knowing your voice. It’s so frustrating to see tweets from people that are obvious attempts to play both sides of an issue to measure maximum impact. Worse are those who don’t realize they’re doing it or don’t read what they’re sending around. Think about each tweet or message as a reflection of what your business represents. Try to keep your voice consistent and your message the same.
Don’t shout. The fastest way to get someone to stop following you is to send out repeated tweets about the same damn thing, or send out nothing but promotional, salesy messages. If you’re like me, you’re selective in whom you’ll follow. Just this past Monday, I decided not to follow at least three people whose recent tweets were all links to their website or sales pages. No one likes to be sold constantly. Apply the Golden Rule. Always.
Interact. How many people in your social media circles reach out to you? I bet you could name a few who have actual conversations or take the time to say something to you. If you can, be like them. They stand out because they emulate the “social” in social media. The others you can’t remember right now? Don’t be like them.
Writers, what’s your approach to social media?
What do you share? What won’t you share?
What are some examples of Tweeters Behaving Badly?