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Getting Started, Socially

March 13, 2011

Use the right social media site for your purpose What should I do first?  Which social media application will give me the best bang for my time?  I can’t do it all, so what should I do?  These questions or some variation of them are ones I keep getting every time I step up to speak to groups about including social media into their overall marketing approach and mix.

Since I keep answering these questions to groups, I thought I would answer it to this group – you all – as well.  So first things first. Remember that all of these social media sites are just tools.  And like real life, certain tools work better for certain things.  You can use a hammer to put in a screw, but in the end, a screwdriver works much better.  (of course, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail)

With social media, you have many tools. Your life isn’t Facebook – Facebook is a place to share what is going on with your life.  LinkedIN isn’t your resume, but it is a good way to share your experience. YouTube isn’t a replacement for your television (yet), but it is a good way to allow someone who is an auditory or visual learner to get to know you or your company. And so on.

So where to start? What gives me the best bang for the time investment?  What should I do if I can only do one thing?  My answer is simple and the reasoning for it is as well.  Create all your profiles, but when you choose where to spend time on an ongoing basis, write a blog.  If you can only do one thing on a regular schedule, spend your time there.  And it will definitely give the most bang for the time invested.

Why?  Because content trumps all other forms of marketing.  Having something valuable said and stored on your website will help people find you.  If you do a blog first, you then have content to repurpose on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN and others when you get going there.

A couple of blog posts can roll together as an article in a newsletter or be submitted to another publication.  Blog posts that share your opinion and expertise make you and your company more interesting, more personable.  You are not just a slick website or brochure.  It will build out your Facebook page and it will give you something worthwhile to tweet about.

And a blog that talks about the value you provide to your customers, and the problems you solve, has permanence.  So if you do nothing else, your blog will get indexed.  And once it gets indexed by the search engines, it will get found by people looking for solutions to the problems you solve.

A blog is not the easiest place to start (that would be LinkedIN).  But it is the most valuable. And you don’t have to be a great writer.  Just pay attention to your customers and market space.  If you can articulate what you want to write about, there are lots of folks that are happy to put the words on paper for you  (and many of them used to work for a newspaper).

And finally, if you think about it, social media is about conversations and interaction.  A blog post contributed to the conversation in a way that a status update on Facebook or a tweet never will.  You can share full thoughts and reasoning.  You don’t have to tweet in sound bites.  So go get started socially and join the conversation by contributing to it.

Do you disagree with my thoughts?  I’d love to hear another opinion.

Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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