Everyone seems to agree that social media is here to stay, but there are still a lot of us that just haven’t figured out what to do with it yet. We get a lot of questions about it, and like most things, we have strong opinions about social media that may not match what you hear elsewhere. Here’s what we tell our clients.

Social media gives you visibility. Social media, at the very least feeds name recognition. Social media visibility can be broken down in terms of money. “Views” are the pennies of social media currency, “likes” the dimes, “shares” the quarters, and comments the dollars.

If your customers are using social media, then YOU should use social media. That means real conversations and not just endless sales pitches. Interact with your customers and invest in giving them valuable content.

Social media is about being personal. Whatever you do, you need to make sure your social media reflects your, or your brand’s, personality, interests, and views. You need to have some level of personal involvement, even commenting on an article that you shared adds personality to your post.

Do enough. Volume and timing matter in social media. The worst thing you can do is to appear as though you aren’t paying attention so you have to actively join the conversation to stay relevant. Social media feeds are like a river, always moving. Not everyone is standing on the bank at the precise time that your boat passes by. You have a much better chance of being seen if you send more boats at the most popular times. See Twitter and LinkedIn best practices.

Don’t try to do it all. Nothing screams newbie more than 10 social media icons listed in your email signature or dancing across the top of your homepage, especially if you aren’t using all of them often and well. Pick one or two to focus on. Dabble in the others, but don’t embarrass yourself by promoting something you haven’t updated in months.

Be realistic about your expectations. Very few companies reliably use social media to close sales. For the most part, social media greases the wheels of your sales process by keeping you visible, creating credibility, and by demonstrating your expertise. Prospects can begin to develop a personal relationship with you, online, before they ever meet you.

It’s all in the planning. Planning your social media posts can be stressful, we have a few favorite tools that make it easier.

Buffer is our favorite tool for sharing content that we wish we had written. It allows us to create posts at our convenience, releasing each post on a set schedule based on the active times of each social network. There’s also a handy plugin that for most browsers allowing us to easily share web content as we find it.

Hootsuite is a great tool for monitoring feeds from other sources and posting scheduled content. Users can create content and schedule it in advance.

Flipboard is a useful app to find relevant content. It compiles your content of interest into a magazine to flip through. Anything found on Flipboard can be sent to Buffer for scheduling.

Uses these resources to help simplify your social media scheduling to become more present online.

Meet you next time…online!

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