Are You Using the Right Social Media for your Business?

The best explanation I have heard so far about Social Media classification is the following: Twitter is a cocktail party, Facebook is a Reunion and LinkedIn is a professional conference. In understandable language we can picture the base value of these tools for our businesses.

Social Media and the Risk of Wasting Your Time

Social Media and the Risk of Wasting Your Time

The best explanation I have heard so far about Social Media classification is the following: Twitter is a cocktail party, Facebook is a Reunion and LinkedIn is a professional conference. In understandable language we can picture the base value of these tools for our business. Once you become more familiar with these three frontrunners, which can easily be expanded to a long list of less popular but often more niche market oriented tools, you will learn diverse ways to target markets on Facebook more cost effectively than Google Adwords and Pay per Click. You will also find more accurate conversion opportunities on LinkedIn and Twitter without spending 4 hours or more daily on social sites.

Search Amelia’s Free Monday Night Lectures

During our first two free social media seminars in recent weeks we often heard the remark of not having time to do all this social work on a daily basis. Yet many people have been told and expect to make tons of money by using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as marketing tools.
Yet at the current level, the vast majority of people are NOT making money with social media and are just wasting their time and that leaves the question:

What are they doing wrong?

To get you on the path of profitable social media use, I have identified the most important pitfalls that lead to wasting time with social media. Here are they with some qualified solutions:

Business Model
Contrary to popular belief a social media in itself, is not a business model. Building a following is great, but until you figure out how to make money with that following, you are spinning your wheels.

Here is what you need to do:
•    Identify the exact product or service you want to sell through social media and focus on that exclusively
•    Exactly pinpoint and profile your perfect customer
•    Develop a system that combines closing sales on the phone, on the Web, or face to face

Social Media Strategy
You do need a strategy that spells out actions and timelines for using social media to achieve specific business goals. Without it, you will get lost in irrelevance to your bottomline

Here is what you need to do:
•    First identify your top three goals with social media (lead generation, find partners and affiliates, solidify existing relationships).
•    Set hard time frames for achieving these goals.

Selecting the Right Tools
It’s easy to make the mistake of using the wrong tool. Some businesses work better on LinkedIn, some are better on Facebook and some are better on Twitter. Remember what I said in the opening: Twitter is a cocktail party, Facebook is a Reunion and LinkedIn is a professional conference. There are different levels of trust here.

Here is what you need to do:
•    Spend a couple of hours on all of the major social media websites. Type in keywords that pertain to your business and see what happens
•    Contact a number of your customers or prospects and ask them which one of these websites they visit most frequently.

Social Network Etiquette
There is a difference between a second hand car salesman and a previously owned car sales consultant. Be pushy and the social media will discard of you faster than you can say: I didn’t mean it. If you are making too many posts, sending too many messages, and ignoring standard social networking etiquette, you will be avoided as the plague. Learn the rules and how to follow them.

Here is what you need to do:
•    Be decent, be honest, be relevant, be nice. Learn the rules of the particular site you are on. Know that Facebook can ban you for posting unauthorized commercial communications.
•    Learn about the limitations of the site you are on. Twitter limits the number of direct messages you can send to 250 a day. In my personal opinion that would constitute 4-5 hours on Twitter alone, never mind the idea of producing something helpful and intelligent.

The Big Burn Out
It’s called social media fatigue and it happens when you are spending way too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn — often not all of it business-related. You will burn out a. from sheer exhaustion or b. from lack of results. A social media hoarder quickly becomes fanatic.

Here is what you need to do:
•    Put a time limit on your daily social media activities. 20 to 30 minutes should be enough to produce the results you’re looking for. If you need more time, assign someone else. Your assistant, secretary, sales man, wife, child. No matter. Delegate and supervise the consistency of the message.
•    Dedicate all of that time to activities that could generate business for you.

Measure Your Results
The internet is all about being able to measure results. I always say that the internet allows you to fail fast, so you can get up fast and restart something different fast. If you elect to forgo that huge advantage, you may as well go back to the 20th century
If you don’t measure against your objectives, you don’t know what’s working and what time you’re wasting.

Here is what you need to do:
•    Set very specific measurable goals. For example, you might want to get 10 new prospects a week and turn four of them into a new customer. Or if you’re working on your website’s hit counter or ranking, work on increasing visitor time spent on the site, conversion, discount or anything that can be measured as a success.
•    Start measuring your results daily — and keep refining your strategy until you get it right.

One of the best known examples of someone who profited from social media is Gary Vaynerchuk, the super star of Wine Library TV. Gary effectively leveraged the power of social media to explode the sales and profits of his family’s almost defunct wine business 5 years ago. 850,000 Twitter followers later the business skyrocketed from $4 million a year to $60 million year.  In the process he and his brother formed a social media consultancy company and are now advising dozens of corporate entities on successful social media strategies.
His approach is simple but steady, spend 50% of your daily allotted internet time on content and 50% on promoting the content.
You can do that too. If you’re interested in learning how, than you’ll be happy to know that SearchAmelia is organizing its 3rd Free Social Media Lecture for Monday, March 1 from 6-8pm at Fernandeli’s on 8th Street in town.

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  1. tommylee

    Very well organized Mr. Publisher and hitting the nail on the head in every aspect.

  2. blacklablover

    We small business owners don't always like to hear the truth about our so-called marketing strategies and why we can't seem to 'light a fire.' Thanks for the reality check, your valuable input, and the truth.

  3. publisher_sa

    Thanks. After reading it this morning I realize I didn't address one additional item in the selection of the tools which is visual versus textual. Some companies and their products and services are very visual (Peterbrook, Fantastic Fudge, hotels etc.) and some are mainly textual (Courson & Stam, Robert Peters Esq., Edward Jones etc.) which steers towards YouTube, GoogleVideo,Metacafé, Flickr etc. or Digg, Stumbleupon, GoogleBuzz etc. Important distinction if time is at a premium.

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