One very humorous, yet truthful, exploration “How To Suck at Facebook,” provides highly useful tips on what to avoid doing on Facebook if you want to be taken seriously and not have people laughing at what you do online. (The rules are different, of course, if your mission involves comedy and satire.) There are also practical suggestions for proper etiquette when you use Twitter if you want to avoid seeming like you don’t really know how to use social media.
If you do not already have a free account on Twitter and Facebook, go today to their websites, and sign up using your real first and last name. With Facebook, you have many options of what you can use their services for. With Twitter, you are limited to posting text messages that run no more than 140 characters including punctuation and spaces. There are now ways to “cheat” that 140-character limitation so you can send audio and video using Twitter. Tumblr is a very useful social media channel to use because this one gives you more capabilities compared to what you get with Twitter without sacrificing simplicity and ease of use. Plus, you can feed Tumblr into Twitter and Facebook so that you only need to enter your posts in one convenient place online.
If you already have video that you can use to promote yourself and your organization, you should also consider using YouTube. But, do not invest money to have someone produce videos for you.
The other sound business purpose for using Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook (and perhaps also YouTube) is to swim in the same waters as the users of those social media channels. You can and will learn many things from spending time with social media that you otherwise would never learn. Think of using social media channels like these as the least expensive kind of audience research available to you today.
Journalists are using social media for a variety of purposes that you need to know about if you are involved in a business that needs to control branding, reputation management, and outreach. Those who write and produce the news for mainstream media channels like newspapers, radio, and television are already researching topics using social media.
Don’t Be Invisible
If you do not have a social media presence right now, you run the fatal risk of appearing to be completely invisible in today’s world. Don’t let this happen to you or to your organization or business. The reality is that the only “cost” for you to use social media is time and energy. The three most tangible business benefits of using both Twitter and Facebook (creating buzz online, driving visitor traffic to your website, and, conducting audience research) make your need to jump into these tools a top priority if you want to become successful in using the Web to reach your target audience.
I have a closing suggestion for you: Pay attention to “Ten Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media” for practical advice in marketing your brand using Twitter and Facebook. Then, go out there and be highly visible today! If you need my help or want to draw upon my professional experience helping others attain relevant visibility online, just contact me and I will share what I have done that worked for others.