You’ve committed to Twitter ? great.Purchased the obligatory Hootsuite subscription ? great. And now you’re excited because you can start pumping out your message on Twitter and Linkedin 24/7; making doubly sure no-one can miss what you’re about and what you can do for them ? not so great. Oh, and you can now also link to your Twitter account, via Hootsuite, your feed of bland articles that are so boring that they don’t appeal to anyone. But hey, at least you’re sharing content, right? Isn’t that what the social media expert told you to do? Wrong. It’s a big fat Twitter and Linkedin #fail. All this does is alienate the very people you want to attract. Twitter and LinkedIn, like all social media tools, work best when used as “pull” rather than “push” marketing mediums. Think about it… we all have so much choice about what we read and share online that most of us have very little tolerance for reading adverts or boring bland articles. If all I see on your tweets and LinkedIn status is “buy our services” and “call me”, I’ll rapidly unfollow you. “But, but, but,” I hear you cry, “I didn’t go onto Twitter to talk about what I had for lunch!” Of course you didn’t; you want to market your business and generate enquiries. So, what to do? First, stop thinking that you’re talking to hot prospects on social media all the time, who are just waiting to buy your services. Secondly, start providing an interesting stream of content that shows your personality and demonstrates your credibility to a specific target market ? preferably via your own blog. (In case you’re wondering, SMEs or owner-managed businesses are not specific target markets.) Thirdly, start proactively connecting and building relationships with people who are well connected to your target market. Then repeat. I promise you, once your reputation is established within your target market on social media, new business will come flooding in. What do you think? Heather Townsend, Britain’s queen of networking, is the founder of The Efficiency Coach, a company that helps professionals achieve better business results for less effort. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She has just been commissioned to write the FT Guide to Business Networking.
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