The reputation you establish can rely squarely on the first reaction of their introduction to you and your company. Customer attraction is drawn from the first few seconds they are greeted:
- The way products are displayed
- The way the website is presented
- The conversations or items posted on social media
- The way customer service is handled
Maintaining an online presence and excitement about your services and/or product can take up quite a bit of time, effort and sometimes it’s a little stressful.
What’s Your Intention?
Have you created a plan around your online presence yet?
Is your plan just for your website, and have you included the social aspects of building your reputation? What will you share to gain trust and attract more business?
There seems to always be a plan for websites, but not necessarily for the social side of creating an online presence. Social media/networking is sometimes an after thought or just mis-understood.
Social media is not for everybody, mentioning words like Twitter and Facebook can excite some and terrify others. How many times have you heard someone say, I don’t get Twitter or they feel Facebook is a waste of time?
Adding words like Google+, Pinterest and Linkedin on top of that brings about a blank stare when face to face, or silence in phone conversations.
For some that DO understand the importance of social media networking and building relationships it then becomes an issue of time and deciding which network is the best.
Determining how and what to post can be confusing, especially if there isn’t a plan.
Advice #1…Don’t wait for the website to be completed to begin building your social networks. If you start BEFORE the website is complete, you’ll have others to announce the new website to, if not, who ya gonna tell?
Don’t Cry…Start with at just “1″
First, let’s talk about the “I don’t get Twitter“.
I always tell people the best way to learn Twitter is to follow people who are interesting to you. Look for those people and topics that you want to learn from first.
I remember feeling clueless about Twitter. I did like everyone else was doing at the time, I followed those that were following me. It did not matter what they did, it was all about numbers.
I did not know what to tweet about or how to do it within 140 characters. (At that time MySpace was still popular.) I watched what others were doing and tried to duplicate it in some form.
Obviously, there was no plan then, but since developing one, it has allowed me to be smarter with my time and more focused with who I connect with.
It’s not about the number of followers but more about the quality of who I am connected with. 90% of the time, I only follow those that I have already learned something about (often after reading a blog post) and possibly want to build a relationship.
Hopefully once they receive the email that I am following them, they will follow me in return and we can begin to interact. Most of the time, that is exactly what happens.
Because my followers are special to me AND most importantly my reputation is at stake, I have become very particular about who and what I share with them.
I have had followers that I did not know, share with me (direct message or while we are discussing the possibility of working together) that they enjoy what I post. Always remember…you never know who is watching.
Advice #2 - Utilize a tool – Topsy.com. While searching what prospective buyers are thinking and saying, you can also determine if you want to follow them or not. It’s an efficient way to not only build your network but research at the same time.
Keeping up with others
One quick trick I use to keep up when following so many people is by identifying who my favorites are and adding them to a list.
If you are in Twitter on twitter.com, and some tools allow this as well, as you follow someone, there is a drop down menu that provides an option for you to add that person to a list.
Once you add them to special list, you will easily be able to view tweets by only those in that select group. It’s a great way to keep up with people in a specific niche if your lists are built that way.
What are you going to share?
You will need to think about what can you share that will aid your business to consistently engage with your followers.
Every new product, every new blog post or article, ever new book, new partnerships, and much more, are all valuable things to share.
Be consistent and share often. You are positioning your company to provide products and services to a specific type of audience and you want these audiences to positively perceive your brand, your reputation.
Advice# 3 – In an effort to improve time management in sharing information, one of my favorite tools is Hootsuite. It allows me to combine more than one social network, shorten’s links, schedule information in advance, and much more.
It provides an easy to use tool that aids in the consistency of sharing.
Bottom line..don’t sweat online networking, don’t rush it, plan ahead to keep the stressful side of it to a minimum.
Having mentioned a few tools that work well for me, what tools do you find work best for you in networking and building your online presence? How does it save time for you?
This post is part of the monthly Word Carnival Event. This month’s theme is: Vanquish Your Nemesis: A Guide to Conquering Small Biz Evils. Make sure you follow the link and learn some new things about conquering business challenges from some outstanding bloggers…