Social media is not set and forget. You don’t join up, post or pin one or two things and then gleefully tick it off your to-do list. Inactivity raises more questions than it answers. Here’s what you need to do to improve your social media presence, writes Ingrid Moyle.
I recently built a complex WordPress membership website for our local Chamber of Commerce. Part of that process was manually migrating the member’s directory listings (approx. 200 of them) to the new site.
Unfortunately, because of how the old site had been HTML coded, this was a fully manual process – copy paste – copy paste – copy paste – (drink copious amounts of alcoholic beverages), while sobbing into my keyboard.
Because I have more than a teensy weensy bit of perfectionism running through my veins, I decided to check every link before hitting that paste button manually. Every link to every website. Every link to every social media presence.
What did I find? Most publicised social media links for solopreneurs and small businesses are less active than the leftover Chinese you lost in the back of the fridge three weeks ago.
In fact, while most of the business owners proudly displayed their links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and assorted lesser beings in their member profiles – they weren’t active on the accounts. In some cases, for many, many years.
Social media is not a girl scout badge. You don’t join up, post or pin one or two things and then gleefully tick it off your to-do list.
Social media is something you do and are. It is about sharing and connection. It is about building a community and showing your expertise. It needs your active presence and participation.
What happens when you have a social media presence that is more wasteland than Disneyland?
When people are checking out your business on the web to see if they can trust you with their business, they WILL check out your social media links.
If the last thing you shared was four years ago, and that was a photo of a cup of coffee you drank when you were out at a meeting, you raise more questions than you answer.
Social media wastelands suggest that you get distracted by bright shiny objects, that you don’t follow through on your commitments, that you don’t have any expertise to share and that you don’t care about what your followers may think or be experiencing.
They may even suggest that you are no longer in business (which definitely impacts on whether or not that potential client will pick up the phone to call you).
So here’s a quick, super-simple social media tip. If you are not active on it – don’t publicise you are on it.
Drop the wasteland social media links from your website header and footer and discard it from your other presences around the web.
Keep your publicised social media presences to the ones you are truly active in – and publicise the heck out of those.
Does that mean you should delete inactive social media accounts?
Hell no! Keep your virtual social real estate in case you suddenly get a burst of enthusiasm and decide to add that mothball riddled social media presence to your marketing strategy.
Don’t close your account – just don’t actively publicise you have it.
For your wasteland accounts themselves, edit your About Us section to make sure you send people back to your business website and include some information about which social accounts you are most active on so people can check those ones out.
After all, a big part of marketing your business is showing your strengths to potential clients.
Why actively display and promote your weaknesses?