Top 10 Social Media Marketing Tidbits For Small Business

    From someone who’s been involved in small business marketing for many years I can say with authority that a lot of business owners tend to work too much in their businesses and not enough on their businesses.
    Small business owners tend to get so focused on those things that keep business rolling along as usual that we never make any real time for tending to things that help us work on our business.  Either that or we’re just not able to devote the brain cells because they’re being soaked up by everything else we’re working on.
    It’s not necessary to do a million things out of the gate to help leverage your business’ online presence but it’s important to do something.  If the only thing you do within the next year is implement a better social media strategy for your small business marketing plan then your business is still going to be better off.
    Want to get started on that?  Here are 10 things to consider:
    1. Meet customers where they gather, don’t expect them to come to you.  If your target market is in a specific network or community then go there and engage them there.
    2.  Content equates to value and credibility.  If you can provide information to people so that you’re helping them make an informed decision against a purchase then you’re providing value. Not only will people return for more information but they’re more likely to make a purchase from your site when the need arises to do so.
    3. Demonstrate, with authority, that you’re an expert in your niche.  Use channels that your competitors due not to push your valuable information and expertise; video, audio, articles, blogs.  Cover deep info as well as quick tips to show your prospects that you can provide information that will make their purchases more sound and their choices a lot easier.  You can demonstrate that you can in fact deliver what you promise and your experience says so.
    4. Put on your Blog hat and participate.  This goes deeper than just posting your own blog content.  Get out into the world of blogging and start participating on the blogs of other writers.  Offer up guest posts and try to make intelligent comments that spur conversation among other.  Do it with gusto and show that you are an active participant – that you’re not just out to self-promote.
    5. Make sure you give more than one reason for people to gather around you.  It shouldn’t just be about making a sale.  Provide some excitement through a sponsored event or meetup for your prospects and customers.  Give them opportunities to orbit and interact around you.  Hosting events can bring a lot of exposure for businesses.
    6. You don’t need to be informative all the time.  If it’s appropriate to do so, have fun.  Give tidbits that provide some personality to your business and offer a little silly (even inane) back and forth with some of your prospects.  Putting personality to your business helps brand you in a positive light (just remember you don’t have to act like Dane Cook to be fun, remember your professional boundaries)
    7. Use a network of sites to leverage and combine your online and offline relationships:  Not just the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook but also free communities and message boards like Yahoo Groups.  These can lead to meaningful conversations that help you refine how you run your business and deal with your customers on a daily basis.  The feedback can give keen insight into positive changes you can make within your business to provide better services to your target market.
    8. Be bold and strut your business.  Share photos and video of you and your staff in action.  These can be comforting to people who aren’t familiar with your skills.  Multimedia can do a lot to install trust in a company
    9. Turn your customers into evangelists for your brand.  Use people to create a buzz around who you are and what you do. Make contests that involve people wearing gear with your name on it or slapping your logo up in random places.  Travel photos with your shirt in them, etc.  Have those people post their antics to your site using photos and video so you can create a community out of people endorsing you.
    10. Lastly of course is engagement. You can’t get anywhere without it.  And I’m not talking about general engagement in your business.  I’m talking about engaging your prospects, their followers, your followers, your customers – everyone online that falls into your target market.  If you can spend 15 minutes each day engaging your following then your business will be better off at the end of each week.


    “Social” Marketing – Just Because You Can Share Doesn’t Mean You Should

    I’ve spoken before about the importance of a strong social media presence in marketing.  It’s the direction in which the web is moving, where people are immediately connected based on the social networks where they exist (and subsequently interact).  A distinction should be made here: A strong social media marketing presence is not an overbearing marketing presence.

    This is one of the most difficult truths for people to accept when it comes to their marketing efforts.  Just because we have countless ways to connect (there are well over 9,000 social networks) doesn’t mean that the audience we have wants to hear from us on an hour by hour basis.
    It’s hard for some marketers to accept that they’re not that interesting… and what they have to say isn’t top-shelf, biblical truth; though there are many who insist that their own perceived successes rocket them to the top of the pedestal as king mentor.
    This can be seen in nearly every one of the popular social networks, in particular within Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  In these environments we often see people who engage for the sake of engagement, forcing their stance not only into other conversations like a bus trying to park in a single car garage.  They’re also seen starting (or attempting to start) conversation with unending posts.  Some tout themselves as phenomenon’s, others are less bold with titles but remain confident that their experience can save YOU thousands of dollars – “so listen up.
    Putting yourself in a position where you’re trying to brand yourself as an expert, offering help to others through social media marketing, is a slipper slope.  It’s extremely easy to slip and fall into the habit of making others feel put upon, exasperated or even mildly offended when you take the position that you can teach them something and incessantly make it known to them that you can do just that. When you’re marketing in social media and you routinely tell people that you can teach them this, that and the other you’re essentially giving people the impression that you find their knowledge on the subject to be inferior.
    On the other side of the spectrum, constantly flinging posts into the social media megaverse that are nothing but gobbledegook, providing little value, is just as bad as forcing your “valuable information” on those around you.  Either way, your intention is not to provide value but instead to position yourself in a better light.  Self-gratification has it’s place, and it’s not within your network.
    You’re going to bore people. Not only that, but you’re going to brand yourself with a certain reputation that most business owners and marketers don’t necessarily aim for intentionally.  Are you really investing all this time and effort just to waste it in the long run?
    In the realm of social media marketing, there is a staggering amount of one way dialogue going on.  A lot of “talking at” people.  Social media has made it easy to connect with people while remaining disconnected.  The result is that it’s so much more easy to create post after post of stats, facts, links or useless retweets as opposed to actually having a conversation or connecting with another individual.
    Think you’re not guilty?  Have a mirror and reflect:
    Do you often update your social media accounts multiple times a day with useless “valuable” content without actually connecting with the people in your network?
    When was the last time you started a dialogue through social media where someone walked away with something of value that you didn’t force on them.
    Do you only “engage” your following when you feel like you have something valuable to promote?
    How often do you fire off mass promotional messages?  Does it outweigh the number of times you connect with people?
    Compare the number of times you start conversations within social media to the number of times you join into an existing conversation to connect with people.  Do the results show that you care more about what you want to talk about, or what they need to talk about?
    Food for thought Mr. Miyagi


    Warning Signs Of A Weak Social Media Strategy

    Putting your brand out into social media through marketing is a lot easier said than done.  There is myriad factors that you have to consider in order to create and execute a social media strategy that works.
    Unfortunately too many brands jump in without a strategy (or a poorly put together one) and the train wreck ensues.  Here are some warning signs that you’ve got your hands on a weak social media strategy.
    Lack Of A Social Networks Focus
    It’s easy to get caught up in the social media marketing hype, where companies are jumping onto the backs of multiple social networks in an effort to have the most impact.  Just because there are multiple networks though doesn’t mean you should get your hands into all of them.
    Instead of engaging numerous social networks with your marketing, where your efforts will be considerably watered down, focus on just a few where you can target those efforts and create a storm of influence and buzz.
    Lack Of Responsibility
    Once you’ve established a presence within a social network, you have a responsibility to update it and keep the information fresh so that you provide the most power behind your brand.  If you have no activity within your profiles then people viewing it will quickly lose interest and the value of being involved in that social network is lost.
    That’s the point where they move on to the competitor.
    You have to remain consistent when implementing a social media strategy.  If that means delegating the responsibility to an employee or hiring a team to handle the social media work then you do what is necessary to keep the interest and engage your following.
    Bigger Is Not Always Better
    Social media strategies require small steps to accomplish the goals within that strategy.  If your strategy consists of nothing but major steps that are long term accomplishments with no small milestones then you’ll quickly face development and engagement issues with your audience and fan base.
    Small steps, like replying to conversations often, monitoring analytics, listening and adapting to market speak are vital to the success of your social media strategy.  You need to consider how your day to day activities align with your strategy.  If they don’t, then make them.
    Lack Of Measurement
    This one scares a lot of companies right out of social media marketing, mainly because it’s not always clear how to measure the impact of social media.  The fact is, the metrics you use are no different than your other marketing strategies. You just need to identify what will be your key performance indicators so you can define the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
    Without analysis in the proper areas, you won’t have any way of knowing what did and did not work – of course with that you won’t have any clue where to make improvements either.
    A Complete Lack Of Strategy
    Granted, signing up for social networking accounts is the first step toward exposure within your market because you’re opening up the ability to start building relationships.  With that said, just because you have an account and you randomly post content doesn’t mean that you’ve got a social media strategy.  What you have is activity.
    If you’re not honest with yourself about whether or not you have a sound gameplan then your efforts mean nothing.  If you haven’t developed a social media strategy, then it’s time to get started.
    Here are some questions to ask yourself to get you started on the right path:

    • Why are you participating in social media?
    • Are you looking for exposure or leads?
    • What’s your expected ROI?
    • What are reasonable goals that you want to hit within a timeline? (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year)
    • What’s your content strategy?
    • Why are you posting content?
    • What are you going to post?
    • How will you incorporate outside media into your content

    Why You Should Gird Yourself Against Social Media Contagion

    Social media (and social media marketing) is all about relationship building which in the grander scheme of things means brand building for businesses and business owners.  Those relationships are very important to the success of any given social media marketing campaign, but they can also have other profound impacts.
    A major downside, as illustrated by John Cacioppo (A professor at the University of Chicago), states that people are potentially subject to the effects of social/emotional contagion.  His studies show that loneliness, like many other emotions, can be transmitted via social networks.
    The findings of the study suggest that is you have a direct connection who is feeling lonely, then you’re 52% more likely to feel the same way.  If the connection is a friend of a friend, then you’re 25% more likely.  If there are 3 degrees of separation then it’s down to 15%.
    Imagine the implication this can have within your own social media marketing.  If an individual within your network (such as a fan) is angry, hostile, lonely or emotional in any way that gets vented on you then you’re far more likely to transmit the mood yourself.  Even as a business owner, the “off” behavior of someone within your social media network can influence you.
    As you build your brand up and grow your connection, involving various contacts in your communication and updates it’s going to be crucial that you monitor your own reactions to those individuals.  This includes how their comments sit with you.
    No doubt we’ve all been witness to people who lack any form of courtesy within social media, asserting their opinions and positions on others in ways that we all know wouldn’t fly (or likely even occur) of those people met in offline world.
    I’ve personally noted people interacting in cruel and often critical ways that I find staggering, and it’s important to consider that this will occur within your social media marketing campaign and the networks you’re involved in.  Mainly because any negativity always has the possibility to become magnified and spread to others.
    That’s how heated discussions begin.
    This is important from a business stand point for a number of reasons – especially to business owners.
    First, if you happen to become rude, cruel, negative or critical you will most certainly cause damage to brand and rapidly change the way people look at you.  This kind of thing can affect not only how your business is perceived but also impacts who will want to work with you.  Ultimately, your bottom line takes a hit.
    Second, since private conversations online tend to rarely be private, anything you can having a lasting negative impact.  Even something said via e-mail, because you never know what other people will share.  What started out as something like a simple, thoughtless remark can quickly spread online to your detriment.  In social media marketing, viral activity goes both ways.
    Don’t let this scare you away from social media marketing and networking with the right people, you just need to be mindful of the influence other people can have on you, your mindset and your brand.


    Rethink Your Social Media Policy: Get Employees Involved

    Those companies that have begun dipping their hands into the social media watering hole are being greedy.   They’re not letting anyone else in on the pleasure of what social media is all about.  They should be treating it like a Democracy – that’s what the internet is all about anyway.  Instead of leaning heavily on one position or small group of people, companies should be mining their entire pool of employees both for promotion and for content.
    Why close employees off to social media?
    Instead, empower them and educate them so that they can do it right.
    While there are certain to be a number of employees within your workforce that will respond with disinterest or something along the lines of “I don’t know what to write about”, there will likely be plenty who are happy to share their voice and their ideas to contribute to the company.
    If you press the quiet ones who have nothing to write and help them dig into themselves, you (and they) will discover that do in fact have a voice and an opinion that can contribute quite a bit.
    Everyone Has A Voice In Your Company
    The fact is, everyone has ideas and information, especially the people who aren’t “experts” in a specific field.  Why?  Because rarely are the experts the ones that are in the trenches doing the work every day.  If you want to know what’s going on within the frontlines of a war, in grim detail, you don’t go talk to the general – you go to the trenches and you talk to the soldiers that are dodging bullets.  Non-experts, the work-horses, are valuable sources of content within your organization.
    They may not consider themselves to be top-shelf writers, but they also don’t spend their time specifically touting their expertise.  They simply exist within your organization, and they tend to know a lot about the work they do for you.  After all, that’s why they work for you.  They’re in a unique position because not only do they understand the position of the organization, they’re about as close as you can get to an “street consumer” without leaving your company.
    Their minds tend to work on the level of the consumer as opposed to functioning on the business level because their heads aren’t in the numbers all day.  They have a good chance of bringing up ideas and content that will more readily connect with the average buyer or consumer within your market.
    They might not be very good at writing – heck they might be terrible writers – but enlisting your workforce in content creation will help them find topics that they know a lot about that relate to your company.  You can flesh out these concepts and start adding them to your content or editorial calendar
    Get A Sharpener
    If you don’t have a single person with a lick of writing talent, then hire someone who can shape the content into something that is real, valuable and digestible.  That individual can also help build employees up so that they’re better at creating, writing and building content on their own to become brand ambassadors.
    Above all else, don’t stop with content production.  Don’t make the mistakes of other companies by fencing in your employees.  Let them blog, let them interact within social media, let them spread the message across their networks.  The stronger the voice of your employees, the farther your brand will reach.


    Are You Crippling Your Drip Campaign?

    The drip campaign is a great way to ease new leads into your sales process and educate them in a consistent manner – all through an automated process.  This is a great supplement to any sales team you might currently have because those automated emails can help replace the typical Q&A period that tie up sales people.
    Keep in mind that a campaign like this won’t replace your sales people but instead supplement them and make their job more targeted.  Instead of having to respond to every lead, the sales people can respond to every lead that responds favorably to the campaign.
    This increases the conversion rate overall, and productivity increases dramatically.  Like any marketing campaign however there are some things to consider that may go wrong.
    You drip too fast
    Many marketers have a tendency to overestimate how many emails people can put up with in their inbox.  While some campaigns can get away with quick emails every couple days (or even every day) it’s best to limit emails to once a week at most.  This reduces the potential for others to get annoyed by the influx of emails and also reduces the amount of content you have to put together.
    The last thing you want is unsubscribes or spam submissions.
    You’re overly promotional
    Marketers suffer from this in almost every medium, especially social media.  It’s just as easy to fall into this.  Getting too many emails selling “junk” is one of the main reasons that people unsubscribe.  You should be aiming for value in every message you’re sending – try to get at least 3 educational messages for every 1 promotional email you send.
    You’re Double Dipping
    It usually happens by accident, but sometimes marketers lose track and add people to the same campaign more than once.  The result is a double torrent of email marketing to that inbox.  Modern email marketing services like Aweber require that people signup and confirm so depending on your service you may not have to worry about this.
    You’re not monitoring activity
    In order to get the best leads to the sales funnel you have to monitor which lead is doing what and to what extent.  If you’re not keeping track of opens, link clicks, page visits or form submissions then you’ll have no idea how to tailor your campaign to improve lead clicks or which leads your team should go after.
    You forgot to plan ahead
    Really far ahead.  Some people will be ready for a purchase well before the end of your drop campaign and marketing ends.  Others will run through the whole course of content and still need a little more to convince them.  You should have something in place to deal with those few partially interested prospects to keep them engaged and educated until they’re ready to convert.


    The Art Of Social Media Recruiting

    Active recruiting means you’re looking for the right person for a job.  Any one actively looking to fill seats knows that you can’t throw all your efforts into one location because your prospects may not be at that location.  You need multiple sources.  If you want to find the most diverse crowd to pick from and find those gems than you have to start picking through the far corners of the web, including social media.
    Demographics might change across various platforms and channels but you can count on some solid elements that exist through all of the social networks
    Recruiting centers around finding the right person at the right time.  When you start thinking about what it takes to find the right person you realize that one source often isn’t enough – multiple sources and outlets are required.  If you want the best candidates you have to dig into diverse mediums, and that includes social media.  If you’re digging into social media for recruiting, there are some key things to hit on so you can make the most of your time spent there.
    Be Approachable
    Your profiles for networking should be organized so that you are both transparent and approachable – this way people can discern the most about who you are.  That includes get a bio, an avatar and current contact information.  These are vital to establishing good connections with people.
    Organize Your Time
    Engagement is a major factor in recruiting within social media.  That means you have to stay involved.  That requires a lot of time on your part.  Save yourself some time by looking at what competitors are doing and glean the methods that work best.  Make the most of your time spend within social media so you get a decent return on your investment.
    Be Genuine
    If you want to see the truth in someone and understand how they work then you first have to present the real you and be truthful in your own right.  People have a tendency of knowing when someone they are taking to is being fake, vague or evasive in providing info.  When you’re working in social media, it’s about these real relationships not the tools.  Since you’re here for recruiting, it’s best to be honest up front.  Be authentic and be yourself.  When you’re authentic, people will recognize it and respond in kind.
    Focus on Substance
    If you’re turning to social media for recruiting, then focus on substance and try not to simplify it to the march of resume gathering.  Engage prospects and look at how they interact with you and with others.  Are they actively engaging their community or do they linker like a creepy lurker?  Stick to people who have no fear of active engagement.
    All of these tips come together to make the time you spend with social media recruiting an active time that brings in a lot of leads.  This can make social networks great tools for managing recruitment but of course, only if you manage them properly.


    Subconscious Marketing on Twitter

    A good question to ask yourself when you’re looking at social media integration, especially Twitter, is to ask yourself why you’re using it.

    • Do you want to make money?
    • Do you need valuable intel?
    • Want feedback?
    • Need blogging ideas?
    • Want to make your content go viral?
    • Trying to sell something?

    If you’re trying to push any kind of product through Twitter to an audience, that’s all well and good – as long as you’re doing it in a way that isn’t a hard-sell, hard-ball marketing trick.  You want to do it in a way that generates subconscious interest so that people naturally feel motivated to buy from you.
    Consider the image you want to portray before you launch a campaign.  This image is important because your messages will be structured around this concept or image.
    Imagine if you’re trying to take over and dominate a niche like Weight Loss.  You would need to have a motivational message that reeks of empathy, positive reinforcement, encouragement, and of course your profile pic shouldn’t be a photo of someone that needs to lose weight.
    The image you would portray would need to be one of an ambassador for healthy living and proper diet if you’re peddling weight loss products.  The content and posts you’re sharing should be helpful and provide a lot of valuable (free) knowledge on the subject matter.  People respond to this type of person because you’re connecting with those individuals and appealing to their subconscious needs.
    Every piece of content you want to share should be with purpose.  Consider before posting – “Does this match my image”.  It’s pointless to share content that doesn’t further your goals within social media with your prospects.  That’s like working within the weight loss market and posting tweets about ice cream.  It will likely do more harm than good.
    Unfortunately people tend to remember the bad posts more than they remember the good, conversational pieces that we frequently share.  That’s why it’s important to stay on task, on track and socialize in a way that improves your image and works toward connecting and engaging prospects in a positive way.
    While you’re developing the content that you’ll be sharing, remember that each piece of content should have a hook that keeps people engaged.  Regardless of how often you post about that content and other events, always try to mix in these 4 elements in your strategy:
    1)      Make sure you reply to people that talk to you
    2)      Make some personal tweets so people can feel more attached to you
    3)      Direct people to other parts of your sales funnel where they can get additional information and more content such as your blog or other social media profiles
    4)      Share interested content you find on other sites such as YouTube that people might enjoy.  You don’t always need to share your own content.  Share the content of others to show that you’re not self-centered.
    You should constantly be working to build up the image that you’re a thought leader and that you can be trusted.   Subconsciously, people will begin to see your credibility and value and over time a rapport will be established that will continue to grow.
    Avoid the hard sells, the calls to action, the spam, the self-centered link sharing.  Promote the people, promote the message, promote anything relevant that will elevate you in the eyes of your followers.  This will help develop the trust you need for further engagement and conversions.


    Blogs Are Changing The Web – Here’s Proof

    What was once a silly little platform for airing general thoughts and feelings has turned into a massive behemoth… for airing thoughts and feelings.  Of course it goes beyond that now.  Blogs are changing the face of not only publishing but marketing as well.
    The problem with the web as it used to be was that it was loaded with static pages that were drab, dull and boring.  For the longest time, web sites were seen as an untouchable entity to many companies.  If they had one, they dare not tamper with it.  It was like the engine to an expensive automobile.
    “Just call the mechanic” It was left to the IT guys.  You couldn’t (or shouldn’t) make a change unless contacting another department and that  might take a day or two to get things done.
    Then comes the blog.  The all powerful dynamic machine that allowed for rapid published of content through an easy interface.  WordPress is at the forefront of the blogging movement, with over 9 million downloads.  It is the most popular, the most customizable blogging platform on the web.  The ease of use combined with simple customization and open source platform have taken WordPress out of the world of blogging and into the world of content management.
    It’s not just for Blogs anymore – Now it can completely power a website.
    There’s no doubt that the blog has changed the way we view and use the web.  Here are just a few ways that’s happening.
    They’re Open To Everyone
    Every person with access to the internet can host a blog and publish to it.  They can voice their opinion in any form they choose and their message can be wide spread – potentially global.  The ease of sharing has made it extremely easy for a middle class Joe to write a post about problems with Nestle, or Nascar antics, and have that post go viral across the web in a few short hours.
    There are journalists who are paid ridiculous salaries that can’t get their content to explode in such a manner.
    The blog has given a voice to millions of people, and amplified the voices of those who were already outspoken.  It’s a powerful tool for having an opinion heard from a consumer standpoint, and marketers can use it with equal potency for reaching into new markets.
    No More Web Designers
    One of the greatest things about the web is having a website where traffic can find you.  Unfortunately it used to be extremely difficult to get a nice site up unless you knew HTML in and out with some knowledge of PHP or ASP, with some CGI and CSS and PERL…yeah.  Fun, right?
    Blogs have made it so simple for anyone to manage a website.  The customization has helped designers create themes and templates for WordPress (and other systems) that look and act just like a typical website.  In truth, they are.  They contain all the design elements and navigation of standard corporate or niche websites with the simplicity of a dashboard on the backend for easy updates and customization.
    Blogs have transformed into complete content management systems that have allowed users to build intricate, beautiful websites with little to no experience in PHP, HTML, etc.  While those certainly help, they’re not needed.
    Do we still need web designers?  Of course, but gone are the days of having to hand off a simple update to a web admin and wait for changes.  Users can now manage their sites easily with a simple web interface.
    Changing The Way We Share
    It used to be that if you liked a site you had to manually copy the link and send it to friends via email or instant message – it was basically a world of copy and paste.  Blogs mix wonderfully with other social media networks and make it extremely easy to share content with plugins for social bookmarking and other social sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
    The most popular is the sexy bookmarks application, lending a nice design to simple sharing.  A newer plugin that’s becoming popular is the Wibiya bar that springs up from the bottom of the window and offers translation, sharing and other customizable buttons.
    The simplicity in sharing has opened the floodgates for viral content to spread quickly and has strapped a rocket to the ass-end of many content marketing campaigns.
    Overall, the blog is a great opportunity for small businesses to start engaging and interacting with consumers.  As costs in hosting, design and domain registration come down this has become an affordable option for many to start marketing more heavily online while creating professional designs that are easily managed directly by the business owners.


    Get The Most Out Marketing & Networking On Facebook

    A frequent concern is how people can leverage Facebook for social media marketing.  It’s often seen as a kids site and nothing more than a simple social network.  If that’s the case, then how come so many businesses are finding success there?
    Many companies and individuals that want to leverage social media are holding back because they fear that Facebook just takes too much time – a limited resource for many of us.  It’s true that it can suck you in and force you to waste a lot of time but it doesn’t have to work out this way.  You just need  to be a little aggressive with your time management, especially if you use Facebook to network for both business and personal reason.
    Social media can be ridiculously addictive, but that’s no reason to completely avoid the system.  Just because something takes up a lot of time doesn’t mean it should be avoided.  If that were the case, men wouldn’t spend any time around women.  Avoid Facebook all together and you’re completely missing out on opportunities to network and socialize with people that are important to your business.
    Consider the time it normally takes you to network with people in other situations.  Conferences, at the office, out and about while running errands.  All of these things are interruptions in your normal routine that require you stop what you are doing and pay attention to that individual or group until the conversation has run its course – sometimes that can be a long time.
    Facebook works so well because it is managed at your convenience and allows multitasking.  You can engage people while doing other things that normally fit into your routine.  Granted Facebook won’t completely replace your in-person networking, but it can supplement it.
    Sorry, you still need to go to conferences.
    If you’re still struggling with how you can utilize Facebook and what you can do to make the whole thing a lot easier just follow these tips to help you organize your time and experience a little better.

    • Turn off email notifications in your account settings.  This can be a huge distraction if your email notifier goes off constantly while you’re trying to work.  You should have small blocks of time setup in the day to check Facebook, not repeatedly every time you get an email.
    • Ignore/black all pointless applications and games – you don’t need them, they will waste your time as you try to find relevant updates
    • Make regular updates to your status
    • Don’t travel to the individual pages of people you follow, just skim the news feed on your home page for the most recent updates and interact from there
    • Check your own wall to look for comments and use a set block each day to respond to peoples comments.  Doing this throughout the day wastes time.  Have a set block of “comment/respond” time.
    • If you have a blog, use an automated service like NetworkedBlogs to announce your new posts for you.  That way you don’t have to manually log into Facebook and make manual update about your newest posts.

    The best thing you can do is to block out time each day for checking and updating your social media networking sites.  Think of it as “network social hour”.  People laugh at the recommendation but I’ve suggested that some people even set a timer on their watch to limit themselves.  It works.
    Some of us need that reminder to keep our head in the work game and remember that play comes later.  It might take you some time to get acclimated to Facebook if you’re new so spend time getting to know the system.  Facebook is a wonderful way to network and build leads with social media marketing and you’ll actually find that the less you use it the more successful you are overall.