IMHO you need to look at social media like Moneyball and you need to look at your actions in terms of ROI. I don’t believe all the social media gurus riding on unicorns who preach that social media is about the conversations man (best said in a hippie voice for dramatic effect). Social media is about giving you an alternate channel to connect with new or existing customers, demonstrate your expertise, solve problems, or promote products with the goal of providing customer service, building loyalty, and making sales. At the end of the day, nothing happens until someone sells something.
For most clients, I recommend having a blog. It’s an easy way to add new content, demonstrate your expert knowledge, and build links. While RSS reading was a big fat lie, the fact is that RSS as a tool works. There are are all sorts of plugins that let you automatically publish your feeds to twitter or Facebook. Before you start doing that, though, you need to figure out where you are and where you want to be.
If you have a personal Twitter account and personal Facebook page, it doesn’t matter which way you choose. However, if you have one or more professional Twitter accounts and one or more Facebook brand pages, you are limited in how you can connect them. A personal Twitter account can connect and auto publish to a personal Facebook page and vice versa. You can’t connect a Twitter account to a Facebook brand page, but you can connect a Facebook brand page to any Twitter account.
Once you know which situation you fit into, set up one to auto-publish to the other, then find the plugin that publishes your new posts to Facebook or Twitter. Voila! You are done with the first step.
No one wants to follow or engage with someone who only talks about their own stuff. You need to demonstrate your expertise, share industry related news & information, or basically curate your feed so it’s interesting and has value to others. My favorite tools to do this are Hootsuite and Bufferapp (see How to Automate a Twitter Feed With Hootsuite and Bufferapp). I use news readers like Zite and Flipboard to find stories about specific topics to populate my accounts. I then use Twitter lists and Facebook friend lists to look for related accounts to like, share, and retweet from (see How to Create a Local Twitter Account).
The one downside to this approach is that Twitter and Facebook become identical. If you want to post to only one account you have to log in and do it to that account. It’s a minor annoyance but, with the time you save over the long haul , you should still get more return from less work.
So what are the takeaways from this post:
- Assess your current situation with personal/brand pages to figure out which account should be the master account that publishes to the other account
- Configure your blog to publish to the master account
- Curate your feed, make it more interesting, and demonstrate your expertise with on-topic discussions, ideas, and links from other industry-related sources with smart news readers
- Use tools to automate and spread out your posts, allowing you to work in batch while appearing to be active in social media all day