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Juliet McEwen Johnson
We all know by now, that when you make a habit of connecting with potential customers little and often, on topics that they care about, you increase the likelihood of them doing business with you. That could be 5 minutes each network per day. 5 minutes on each of the 5 major networks is less than half an hour; why do most of us drag our feet on such a simple way to increase our online visibility and build our business? Procrastination.
We worry that we’ll say the wrong thing. We worry that there won’t be anyone to talk to. We worry that we won’t look smart. But we don’t have to be smart; we just have to be helpful, kind, polite and supportive.
This is a legit fear; Pinterest in particular can take you down a series of rabbit holes as you explore more and more beautiful images and ideas. The answer is a stopwatch or kitchen timer. I like a real timer; the online versions work just as well. It is a discipline, like exercise and dieting. And in this case we are only asking ourselves for 5 minutes per network. I do mine across the day as I transition from project to project.
There are many people still using “push” marketing in the social landscape and it is annoying. That does not have to be you. Your job is to engage and connect. Contribute to those who are interested in talking with you. Have you found all of your top customers on Twitter, for example? To keep up with them in 140 characters at a time can be done by any introvert!
In the offline world, how often do you have to connect with someone before they will buy? They say it takes 7 touches. Online is no different, except that your butt hasn’t left your desk chair and it’s taken a lot less time!
You are simply trying to connect with people – so a comment, a like, a plus one, or a re-tweet all will get your name in front of the owner of the content you are appreciating. It can be simple.
The social networks are designed to delight you; you must expect distraction and use it to your advantage. Whenever pulled off task, simply comment on the new discovery and see if this is someone you would like to connect with.
There is nothing wrong with reacting to discussions already taking place. Social media is about listening and engaging before you can put your own content out there with a sales message. The daily business of social media IS reacting, being where the conversation is already taking place. Reactivity is a plus, and should not be cast as a reason to procrastinate.
For all those of us who need a plan, here it is – take 5 minutes and connect with as many people as you can in that time frame on their topics. When you have done that for 3 days straight, you have earned the right to plant a sales link. The end. It is that easy.
Let’s face it: we all want a magic pill. I would like a robot that cooks gourmet, healthy food and cleans the house, most especially the toilets, but that era has not arrived yet. It will. Until then, we all have to do those kinds of tasks ourselves. After I have cleaned my own house a few times, I certainly appreciate it a lot more when someone else does it!
So, too, with social media, when you take the time to put in the work, even only a little bit, you do see results and you will be more appreciative as a result. You will have earned the results, which is a wonderful feeling! Every time you achieve a goal, the joy is well worth the effort in retrospect. You’ll see.
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