First let me wish all of our US readers a happy Thanksgiving. I love this holiday because we get to spend it with family and focus on what we’re thankful for.
I also love it because I get to slow down for a few days and focus on the important/not urgent box (http://www.orgcoach.net/timematrix.html) that often gets overlooked.
So if you’ll also be spending a bit of your holiday at the coffee shop or on the computer before the kids get up, I wanted to offer a few social media action items that go beyond just updating your sites and responding to comments.
#1 Be proud of your profiles.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And these days that first impression could be your Facebook page or LinkedIn profile. So let’s make sure these sites are strengthening your credibility instead of diminishing it.
Your Facebook Business Page: Read over your company info and make updates or changes. This is the place people come for the fist time to learn about you or your business, so take the time to make sure it highlights who you are and how you help others. Facebook has recently updated their Insights to give you more data on how people are interacting with your page. Look this info over and see which posts are getting the most engagement. You’ll start seeing some patterns and you can use that info to create more engagement moving forward. You may also want to look over who has admin access to your page and take some folks off who no longer should have access.
Your personal Facebook profile: Spend some time removing photos or comments that you’re not 100% comfortable with. Especially if you’re connecting with people beyond just friends and family. I understand the drawbacks of mixing your personal page with business. It comes down to personal preference. I do believe there are some great advantages to connecting with clients and customers on Facebook. For example, one of my clients shared on her Facebook page that she was celebrating her one year anniversary of quitting smoking. I sent her a gift certificate to her favorite restaurant and shared how proud I was of her to beat such a difficult habit. This was something she probably would not have shared with me had we not been Facebook friends. So you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of mixing business with your personal life.
Your LinkedIn profile: connect to at least 500 people. 500??? Yes, 500. This is because once you hit that mark, LinkedIn starts to just show your connections as 500+. So you could have 501 or 5001, it will still say 500+ and it simply looks like you’re established and well connected. I also want you to have at least 10 recommendations. And make sure they are good ones from clients or customers who love you. I get booked for speaking engagements all the time after an organizer reads the recommendations on my LinkedIn page. They are authentic and they are from the right people. That’s the key. And finally, make sure your summary talks about how you help others. The quicker you can get away from talking about yourself and make the reader feel like you’re talking in terms of their interests, the better.
#2: Get control of your online reputation.
Typically, when someone uses Google to find a printing business, they will see the map on the right and a list of local businesses they can choose from. This listing also shows reviews. How many do you have? Don’t know? WHY? This is either helping or hindering your chance of winning their business. So go Google your business, city and state. Click on the link that says Reviews or Places Page. How are you doing? Do you have any reviews? Do you have any negative reviews?
If you haven’t claimed this page yet, claim it. Look at the right-hand side of the page toward the top. Does it say ‘Owner-verified Listing’ or ‘Business Owner?” If it says ‘Business Owner?” you need to claim the listing. Click on that link and proceed. Once claimed, you can respond to reviews, change your contact info and get reports from Google on how this page is performing.
But the most important step here is to remind your happy customers that this page is out there and that you’d love for them to write you a review. Don’t wait around for the negative Norm or Nancy to write a nasty review, be proactive and protect your reputation by getting good customers to tell the world why you’re the best in the biz.
Note: Yelp.com is a different animal. They discourage business owners from soliciting reviews from their customers and will attempt to filter them. I’m not a fan of this but it is what it is. So take note of it.
#3 Make sure your Website is doing it’s job: Simply put, your Website should be giving visitors what they’re looking for, have good content so the search engines can rank you, and capturing visitors information so you can stay in touch with them. Is it not meeting all three of these goals? Then do something about it. Make sure your key info like phone number, physical address, or hours of operation are in an obvious spot on your site. Make sure each page has a good paragraph or two of content that explains what that page is about. And get an opt-in box on each page where people can give you their information in exchange for something of value like a white paper, enewsletter, or special coupon.
#4 Be a better interrupter: So now you have emails, friends, fans, followers, etc. What are you doing with them? The whole reason we’re engaging social media is to build better relationships with customers and prospects. I can’t tell you how many Facebook pages I see with no engagement, LinkedIn profiles with no status updates, or blogs with no recent articles.
We have to acknowledge the fact that people aren’t waking up every day thinking about us. So on Monday, after the holiday, what are you going to do on your sites to interrupt me and remind me you’re out there? Keep in mind I might be on LinkedIn, I might be on Facebook. Make sure you’re communicating on all platforms and offering good, valuable info that makes me stop and pay attention. And remember, make it about THEM.
A few months ago, I woke up in a cold sweat freaking out that I didn’t have life insurance yet. Now I’d talked to a few people six or seven months ago, but they had since vanished from my radar. I jumped on my computer and my email was the first screen that opened. It had updates from my LinkedIn account and one of those updates was an article about a local sports team that I love. Although still sweating, I figured a quick detour to that article wouldn’t hurt. 🙂 Well, when I clicked on the link, it took me to the LinkedIn profile of the guy who wrote the comment. And that guy happened to be the life insurance salesman I spoke to six months ago. That day, he earned my business.
Ok, I’m off to call each of our clients and personally thank them for their business. But before I do, I want to take this opportunity to say how thankful I am to our friends, fans, subscribers and others who have supported eBoot Camp along the way. It’s been a fun ride so far and thanks to folks like you, I truly LOVE MY JOB!
Corey and the eBoot Camp Team