If you are a business owner who is using third party applications like Hootsuite, Ping.fm etc., to engage in social media to grow your business, then this blog post is for you. As a Certified Social Media Specialist, I work with small business owners everyday and counsel them on how to use Social Media tools for their business.
You will find that in general, I am not an advocate of using these third party applications to engage your audience. I personally find it stilted and cardboard like. To me, pre-scheduled posts lack a human touch. I guess I am a purist. If you are an educated social media user, you too can likely smell these from a mile away. Furthermore, these posts/updates show the source of the post; another dead giveaway that they are pre-fabricated. I tend to un-follow people if their content is strictly pre-scheduled.
I was beginning to think I was in the minority in my way of thinking but I came across this very recent post that tells me I may not be far off the mark. EdgeRank checker is a free tool that measures your effectiveness on Facebook. And with one out of every 8 minutes being spent online being on Facebook, this is an important measurement to take into account. This post implies that using third party tools like Hootsuite can kill your Facebook EdgeRanking. Please click here to read the article.
So why are people using them? The biggest complaint I hear from business owners is that you ‘lack time’. You likely started out your business because you had a great product or service to market. What you didn’t bank on was that you were going to have to be the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. You probably didn’t appreciate just how much of your day this takes up! You’re stuck because your business isn’t generating enough revenue yet for you to hire on help but you are so busy wearing all these hats, you don’t have enough time to get out there and market your product or service to generate revenue. Sound familiar? I can relate because I am a small business owner and I’ve been there too.
But what I have come to realize and put into practice, is that if you are truly looking to engage your audience, particularly on Facebook, you need to be real and authentic and most of the time, in real time in this social media space. You need to schedule this activity into your day and be prepared to take responsibility for the kind of content you generate. This is called working on your business instead of in it. It is not an easy thing to outsource either. Unless that person/s knows you and your business like the back of their hand, it will be difficult to represent you. No one knows you and your business better than you do. This is like handing over the reins to someone else. The fact is, people want to get to know you both as a business entity and as a person and they want to engage with you knowing that you are being genuine and available.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t ever use these third party apps, however you need to be careful how and where you use them. Finding someone who you can consult with to find out where your target market hangs out and when is your best strategy. Then be as authentic and real as possible. It may take a little time, but it will pay off in the end.
Remember, people buy from people they like and trust. Part of trusting someone is knowing that they are there when you need them.
What do you think? I love getting feedback. Here on this blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a great opportunity to leave a link back to your own blog.
Until next time,
While physically living in Newmarket Ontario with her family, Joanne is virtually yours, anywhere.