Here’s your Ten Commandments or things you need to be doing to get in and win with social media.
Thou Shalt Blog (like crazy).
Thou Shalt Create Profiles (everywhere).
Thou Shalt Upload Photos (lots of them).
Thou Shalt Upload Videos (all you can find).
Thou Shalt Podcast (often).
Thou Shalt Set Alerts (immediately).
Thou Shalt Comment (on a multitude of blogs).
Thou Shalt Get Connected (with everyone).
Thou Shalt Explore Social Media (30 minutes per week).
Thou Shalt Be Creative (go forth and create creatively)!
1. Thou Shalt Blog (like crazy)
Blog. Please! That’s the first priority. Set up a blog, a personal blog, a business blog. It’s easier than you think. Use an existing blogging site such as Blogger.com or Wordpress.org or install your own branded blogging site right on your own server by using WordPress. And, WordPress is free. I personally love WordPress and there is so much functionality with it. I haven’t used the others.
2. Thou Shalt Create Profiles (everywhere)
Create your profiles; do it now before someone else takes them. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. That’s called cyber squatting. So get out there. Use Open Social to make filling in your profiles as easy as a click of a button. – Whether it’s intentional cyber squatting or not, there are only so many names in the world. Create all you can for yourself and use them as often as you can to prove ownership.
3. Thou Shalt Upload Photos (lots of them)
Upload photographs. You’ve got them. Don’t upload the one with you with a lampshade on your head…counterproductive; but other photographs? Absolutely. Customers want to see and participate. You want to give people a face to go with your company. Today it’s all about the relationships with clients – post as many business related pictures (watermarked with your logo in the important areas that you can’t photoshop through) as possible in as many places as you can. Show off your work. Clients will notice, it will be googled and become a valid part of your SEO!
4. Thou Shalt Upload Videos (all you can find)
Videos. You all have videos. I don’t care whether it’s training videos or customer videos, grab your video camera and go interview some of your customers. What’s better than seeing your customer’s smiley face on your Web site? And it doesn’t cost anything. As great as it is to hire great videographers for your videos – and I do recommend it when it’s needed, and yes, it is needed for commercials and top-rank video – but for some of the videos, it’s not really necessary. Buy a good quality digital camera and give it a whirl yourself. If you don’t think it works, hire a professional. At least you’ll have some practice in front of a camera that will make professional video more productive.
5. Thou Shalt Podcast (often).
If you don't have the money to get a camera, use the free audio software that’s in your computer. That’s what I did. I created 48 audio podcasts. If you take the podcasts I did for my book and played them back-to-back, they run 24 continuous hours of interviews. You can do that. It’s free. It just takes time. Always try something new. You never know what you can personally do until you get creative and give it a try. (OK, I knoq this one is old but videos, videos, video clips - BW)
6. Thou Shalt Set Alerts (immediately)
Set alerts. People are talking about you. You probably need to know what they are saying and you want to participate. I assume he means Google alerts and I can’t agree more. It lets you know what you’re competition is doing and how you’re doing on your keywords, and where your competition is doing on your keywords.
7. Thou Shalt Comment (on a multitude of blogs).
Commenting is like going to a cocktail party. You wouldn’t walk into a networking event, walk up to a group of people talking, and tell them your name and what you do in your business. That would be rude and unacceptable. Listen first. Read the blogs and add comments. You can be controversial, that’s okay. But participate. Get involved. I agree, but on another front, all of the relevant comments help your SEO and bring you into the conversation as an “expert”. There are so many people who call themselves an “expert” these days – everyone is an expert, it’s important to prove that you really are one – comment on a relevant blog and that improves your SEO, links to your site, and links to you proving yourself, or just lets you say what you want to say about a subject – if you can prove your expertise.
8. Thou Shalt Get Connected (with everyone)
Get LinkedIn. Put it in your email that you have a LinkedIn account, you have a FaceBook account, and that you have a Twitter account. Make it a part of your heading on your letterhead, because that’s how you propagate. That’s how you sell it. I’ll go further than that. Put it at the top of your header, your content page, every single page you can mention, and then every single thing you have that is printed: why isn’t it on your business card, your web page, and everyone one of your social networking pages? Make sure you Tweet about it, make sure it’s LinkedIn, Make sure your Facebook account isn’t just social, but is about your business. Personalize with a vanity URL wtih your name (if it’s available) or your business name. Then set up a business page on your social page and invite people to become fans.
9. Thou Shalt Explore Social Media (30 minutes per week)
Explore social media. Give me thirty minutes a week, that’s all I’m asking. Friday morning grab your coffee, lock yourself in your office, and give me thirty minutes. Just Google something. I promise you within the first 30 days you will be excited. You’ll be as excited as I am. You will get excited because of the ROI. When you first start in social media, take it one step at a time or you will be doing nothing but social media and it will become too time consuming. Create a strategy of where you want to be in three months time and take each medium (be it Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging) and do nothing but that for a week. Get your profile and picture up, make sure your bio is sprinkled with your SEO key words/search terms. Know what your clients would be searching for and make sure they can find it in your profile. And then get to know the program, get to know the other people using the program. Be selective about who you let into your network. Just like in the business world, you are the people you associate with. I’d rather have 80 Twitter followers that say something I want to hear, or that can benefit from what I have to say, than 800 who do nothing but bring more noise.
Allocate a certain amount of time and each day explore something new about the application. On Twitter, find out about apps like Tweetdeck or Seesmic, look for ways to Tweet on your cell, learn how to search (always search yourself and your business name), and learn about things like # tags and SEO search functionality. In LinkedIn, get involved in groups that share your interests, look for news and directories – that’s where the good information is. Treat it like a networking function. On Facebook, be more social but still professional. Find groups, invite “fans” – spend time finding out why these things are important to your company – how others can be a resource and how you can be a resource to others. That is the power of social media. I rarely google anymore – if I have a question, I put it out to my various networks and I get recommendations that have already been vetted – things to use, things not to use – that not only save me much needed time but also much needed resources. Social media exceeds its ROI for me.
10. Thou Shalt Be Creative (go forth and create creatively)
And the most important commandment is creativity. That’s all. It’s just creativity and having fun. But you know what, that’s what your customers want. They want to see transparency. They want to see authenticity. They want to see you having fun. They want to be able to relate and communicate. Go Get Creative!
NOTE: Just remember that EVERYTHING you type is a lasting tribute to you. If it is online, it will be there forever. Even if you think it is private, don’t put things in writing that you would be embarrased about others reading. That is just good business.