How To Make Your Business Social Networking Efficient

I’m Tweeting, I’m blogging and I’m Facebooking (if that’s a verb?). Are you?

More to the point, are your activities generating any business for you and how much time are you spending on these activities? You can improve you efficiency at these activities and here are some ideas how you can do it.

If you are anything like me then I guess you are getting some business from social networking but you’re probably also spending a large amount of time on it too. Let’s be fair, “chatting” on social networking sites can be fun so it’s really easy to get wrapped up in a few conversations at the start of the day and soon find out that it’s mid-morning and you’ve achieved nothing.

It would appear that business social networking is here to stay, after all, most big businesses are getting involved and there’s enough consultants out there telling us that we should get in there and ignore it at our peril. It’s okay for big business though, they can afford to have one (or maybe more) people dedicated to Tweeting and building relationships all the time but it does not work like that for the small business. So how do you get the most out of business social networking without spending vast amounts of time on it?

The only way is to automate what you’re doing. Automate however with one caveat and that is to ensure that you’re process automation doesn’t take away the human element of your social networking activities.

The processes that you can easily automate include:

  • Synchronizing your various social networking accounts so that if you make a post on one, it will automatically populate your other accounts
  • Encouraging people to follow you by following them, and un-following them if they fail to follow you back
  • Setting up a target list of preferred people to follow and then using the above tool to encourage followers
  • Scheduling your Tweets so that effectively you can be Tweeting when you are asleep?

Synchronizing is easy to do, you’ll find the tools in the account section of any of your social networking sites and I fully recommend that you do this. My one word of warning though is to look critically at which accounts you synchronize, don’t mix personal with business, if you’re trying to build a business brand, the last thing your customers want to know is what you got up to at the weekend and who you went drinking with.

Follow me follow you is good, provided that it’s targeted. Just gathering followers for the sake of it might massage your ego but frankly it will only hinder your Twitter activities as you try to manage all your followers.

Scheduling Tweets can work well to. I heard of one guy who was in the snack industry and he found that his greatest response was when he Tweeted at lunch time so he scheduled more Tweets to go out at this time to supplement his own activities. Note the word supplement – Tweeting is not a pump it out solution, by all means use it to get more in efficiency but you still need the human element to engage with the responses that you get.

So to summarize, automation can make your business social networking life a lot easier but it doesn’t and never will do the whole job and whatever automation you choose to do, make sure that it is properly targeted to what you want to achieve.