Social media is everywhere these days. We have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. There is Pinterest, and Instagram, Hubspot and Google+. Wikipedia shows 213 active social media sites at this time. And the landscape is always changing.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and spread yourself so thin that you can’t keep up. I know people that maintain a presence on 10 or even 15 sites, and my first thought is always, ‘When do they find time to run their businesses?’

The answer is, they don’t. They spend their time updating their status, posting pictures, setting up boards, or surfing other people’s posts.

And not updating their *business*.

My clients ask: “How do you know what to use?”

My answer is: “You go where your clients are.”

If your clients are post-menopausal women looking to lose weight, then if you’re spending time Tweeting, you’re not reaching your clients. Because they aren’t there. Pick the top places where you can find your tribe, your prospects, and focus on those. Facebook is usually good. If you do business with other businesses, then use LinkedIn as well. Google+ is also a good possibility, and is gaining in popularity daily. Twitter is good if your prospects are there.

Your business should hang out where your prospects are.

historyofsocialmedia2Let’s look at Facebook, arguably the most familiar to people these days, even though some say it’s on the way out (don’t count on them disappearing anytime soon though).

Facebook started out being where the young people went to because their parents were invading their space on MySpace (remember MySpace?).  We have changed so much since the early 70’s when ‘social media’ got its start. If you’re interested in seeing how we changed, you can check out this great post about the history of social media. It isn’t long, and it gives you a birds’ eye view of how technology has changed how we interact online.

Then we followed our kids to Facebook (much to their disgust). And now, *everyone* is on Facebook. It is a great place for nearly every business to have a presence, because its members cross all lines, and are all over the world.

Currently Facebook has over 1.25 BILLION active members (this is just the active people!).

Every day, I see people on Facebook, posting up ‘Please come like my page!’ on my Facebook feed.

The problem is, you don’t want likes. No, really!! You want *engagement*.

What does that mean?

It means that people interact on your site. They come, they like, they *comment*. They read what you have to say, and share it with their friends. They are involved with your page.

Getting likes doesn’t help you. A page can have thousands of likes, and zero engagement. And not generate any business. But a page can have few likes, but high engagement, and generate sales for its owner every day.

Next time you’re on your Facebook page and click on ‘Insights‘ at the top. It will open up a panel that looks like this.


Look at your likes. It shows you how many you have, and how many you’ve gotten lately, with a nifty graph to see how you’re doing.

Now look at your post reach. Post reach is how many people see your post. Facebook has a super-secret math equation that figures out who will see your post. And not all the people who liked you will see it.

Did you know that? Yeah. Look at the chart. Of the 618 likes I have on this page, only 386 saw my most recent posts. So what gives?

Well, part of that is engagement. The non-engaged, those who just liked and left, are likely not to see it. Another part is how often you post. Another is how many comment. And still another part is because Facebook wants you to pay to ‘boost’ your post. Yeah. I don’t recommend spending your hard earned marketing dollars on that unless you’re doing a big roll out for a new program or product.

Now notice the engagement. 69 people engaged. Slightly more than 10% of the likes. Partly because I need to post more regularly on this page (this isn’t my company page, but one for a hobby site I run). Partly because some just liked and left. And a lot of it is because Facebook is full of crap. Kitty videos (cute, but there are an awful lot of them). Political rants. Foursquare tags. Pictures. And those people who seem to post their every move all day long (do they take time to eat? I’ve always wondered).

That number will go up and down, depending on how interesting I am at any given time.

Getting back to the chart above. What you want to focus on is creating interesting content that people will comment on and share. Don’t just share articles you find somewhere else. And DEFINITELY don’t post kitty videos on your business page. Save that for your personal feed. However, you *can* post personal updates that let people get to know you.

Write readable, interesting short articles.

Link articles from other sites, but write up your comments and insights around what you found.

Post the first paragraph of your latest blog post and link to your site for the rest of it. That will bring people to your site to find even more interesting stuff.

Post sales, coupons, and discounts. Post calls to action to get initial consults or sign-ups for your teleseminar. Just keep the ‘sales’ stuff to about 30% of your page posts. Nobody likes a page that looks like a used car lot. Make it interesting.

Some quick do’s and don’ts for your design of your Facebook page:

  • DO: In your cover photo, make sure that it is not covered in text. Facebook gets ugly about that and will kill your page. You can find current Facebook rules about cover photos here.
  • DO: If you are in a service business, then get your face in there! People want to see who they’re talking to. So have your face on your cover picture (which is often a lot like your website header graphic) or as your profile picture (that is the little picture in the corner of your cover photo.
  • DON’T: Go out begging for likes. Get your page in front of your friends by just writing an interesting post, then sharing that to your personal page. Works much better, and your great post will speak for itself in getting you likes and more importantly, engagement.
  • DON’T: Just repost other people’s stuff or off-Facebook articles. People come to your page to get to know *you* and your business, not to see trending links.
  • DO: Keep it professional. Don’t get into political conversations. Don’t post cat videos (unless your business is about cats!). You can have fun, but consider your goals here before you post something.

I’m going to knock off, this is much longer than it set out to be. Next week I’ll continue on social media and how to use it in your business.

Creating your blueprint for your business includes mapping out how you will use social media, along with your other technology ‘properties’ for your business. I’ll help you figure out the best way for you to do this, and work with you to create the plan that will keep your digital properties humming along and keeping your prospects interested. Request a Reboot conversation today to get started on designing your custom blueprint.

See you next week!

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