Social media has become the buzz of the business world and provides some of the coolest tools we’ve ever seen for interpersonal communications. However the real challenge is figuring out the best way to use these tools and making the time in your schedule. Here at NOLA, my schedule is pretty full with taking care of mortgage loans, which is why I’ve hired a consultant to help us with social media. And in this newsletter, I want to share with you some of what I’ve learned in hopes that it can help you in your business.
Is it a fad or here to stay?
I feel pretty confident in saying that social media is here to stay. It’s not a FAD!
It’s also not a cure to make your business explode over night. Participating in social media takes time and patience. It’s hard to keep track of all the social media applications on the market and not all deserve the business owner’s attention. And with so many applications to choose from, the question becomes which one should really be using: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or should you be blogging too?? It all can be very confusing!
What I do know is that I need to spend the majority of my time working for my clients. They are what drive my business! However, without social media in my business, I will get left behind.
How to get started
Before you start any social media campaign you must first have a plan and clear goals. And once you make a plan, you must execute it consistently. This means that once you start, you have to commit a certain amount of time to this plan. That means if your going to update weekly then do it every week.
I have learned that you need to use social media to share not sell. It’s simply meant to give your followers good information that is informative and useful. People really don’t want to be sold while they are on social media.
I use an 8 to 1 rule. This means that I try to give my followers something that I believe will be helpful in their everyday life and then every so often, I give them a gentle reminder that I’m in the mortgage business and that I can help them with all their mortgage needs. So, for every 1 post I make that has a sales message, 8 times I will post something that is useful and not about selling.
Should I use my personal Facebook page to advertise my business? I am of the opinion that it’s best to keep these separate. People don’t really want to see you mixing business with personal. It’s best to be professional and share your expertise on your business page. That’s where you want new clients to find you anyway. There are many ways to pick up new followers on your business page. Feel free to send me an email at Stephanieweeks@me.com and I will be glad to share those with you.
If you are in business and you have not set up your LinkedIn profile, you are missing the ship. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other business people or even a prospect that you don’t know but would really like to meet. More importantly, if you’re considering a career move, I assure you that the people doing the hiring are looking to find out about you.
Finding the right balance
So where is the balance for business owners and professionals and the personal use of social media? Well, I recommend using social media to show your expertise. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer, as social media is really a “test and prove” program. Try different things and measure the results to see what works for your business or you personally. It will pay off for you in the long run.