There are so many social media sites out there and so many different people using them. Trying to participate on them all is next to impossible. But selectively choosing to participate on certain networks and outright ignoring some might not be the best strategy for you. You may be missing out on connecting with potential/current readers or customers. So where does that leave you? For most people they end up either spinning their wheels or disengaging.
You don’t have to do that. Using some strategy and available free tools you can leverage these networks without falling into a major time suck.
1) I have said it before and I will say it again, protect your brand, your name, and whatever you hold dear. I’ve written blog posts about this, I mention it every time I talk about social media strategy and I will bring it up again here… If you want to control your brand make sure you register your name on just about every social media site you can find. The last thing you want is your name/brand hijacked.
2) Use Ping.fm to leverage your content and distribute it. Ping.fm allows you to post to over 40 social media sites from one interface (you can use their web interface, your cell, and multiple other options) including microblogging services, photo sharing services, social book marking sites, and soon video sites. Examine the social media sites that the service updates and import the accounts that you want to participate in.
3) Fill out your profiles. I know this is such a simple request but you would be surprised how many people don’t take that step. According to a recent HubSpot report (hat tip to Chris Brogan for sharing this) about the usage of Twitter most users don’t even fill out their basic information.
- 79.79% failed to provide a homepage URL
- 75.86% of users have not entered a bio in their profile
- 68.68% have not specified a location
Stand out from the crowd and actually do it. Humanize yourself, make yourself approachable, and allow the users of these services to find out more about you.
4) Monitor responses and participate, otherwise you are purely broadcasting nobody wants to be friends with a broadcaster. With a number of these services you can subscribe to an RSS feed involving search terms or monitor replies. Also using the tools I talk about in this monitoring post you should be able pickup any conversations about your content, make sure you engage.
5) Prioritize your networks and strategically grow your accounts. Obviously you can’t go through and spend time growing 20-40 accounts. It just isn’t possible. However picking a few and concentrating on growing them will allow you to build a targeted group of people to converse with. As you continue to create content and populate these networks with your information you may be surprised where followings or conversations take place. Don’t force growing accounts on one network if you see it happening organically on another, spend a little more time on those networks and develop what is growing.