How Social Media is Changing, and How Not to Get Left Behind

Social media and change go hand-in-hand. Facebook puts a 20% limit on the text in your cover photo. Then they take it away. Millions of Twitter followers “auto follow-back” anyone who follows them. Now they can’t. Google+ adds communities, and makes your cover photo huge. LinkedIn adds endorsements, and the ability to @ tag other users. Pinterest adds business pages, and the “people who pinned this also pinned” option. You get the point . . . Veteran social media users roll with the daily updates as joyfully as Pooh Bear greets each new pot of honey. Experts everywhere rush to blog about the latest change and the “revolutionary” effect it will surely have on the way we all do business. In reality, these changes might make things a little better, or a little worse, but they don’t significantly effect our strategy, or how we do business. Until recently, that is. Have you noticed this common trend in recent changes? Here’s what I’m starting to notice with each significant change made by the social media networks ~ there’s a major emphasis on helping users grow relationships. And an apparent desire to make it harder for those just interested in growing numbers. Let’s take a look. What Facebook Wants As you’ve probably heard, Facebook recently changed their algorithm. If you don’t know much about it yet, I highly recommend you check out Jon Loomer’s article on the changes. I agree completely with his analysis. Here, I’ll just highlight how the changes reflect Facebook’s desire to encourage and enable better relationship building. First, Facebook went to its users. Here are some of the questions they...

Are You Killing Your Business With These 3 Activities?

As an entrepreneur, your time is money. And although you may not realize it (yet), your time is more valuable than your money. There’s always more money to be had. Not so for time. So, let me get to the point. If you’re ever going to have the business of your dreams, you’re going to have to change what you do with your time. One of the first things I do with my private coaching clients is take a look at how they’re spending their time. And what I way too often find, from my clients and from other social media conversations, is that many online entrepreneurs are wasting at least 50% of their time. And I don’t mean wasting time in the sense of watching too much TV, or hanging out at the pool or your favorite happy hour too often. I mean sitting down to work on your business with a “to do” list in front of you that contains hours worth of time-wasters. There are 3 things I see over and over again that many people are doing too much of, with little or no return. The first person I identified doing too much of these things about a year ago was me. And when I started replacing these activities, I started reaching my business goals faster. And, I started making more money! I am not alone. And unfortunately, too many people continue to fall into these time sucks. If you are one of those people, today is your day to reorder your priorities. Webinars and “Training” Videos The easiest and most effective way to launch...

The #1 Way to Increase Your Social Media Numbers

When you talk about how to increase the number of social media followers you have, people listen. Because more followers equals more money for your business, right? Well, as we talked about last time, bigger is not always better when it comes to your social media following. The Social Media Numbers Game is Hard Work Most advice focuses on ways to get people to click “like” on your Facebook page, or establishing a daily routine of following and unfollowing people on Twitter. All with the goal of increasing your social media numbers, and therefore, hopefully, your influence. There are a couple of downsides to playing the numbers game with social media. First, you are going to end up with a lot of followers who you have no influence over. Two things will happen with these people. Either (1) they’ll never be anything more than a number to you, or (2) you’ll work long and hard to build a relationship of trust with them. The second downside to this method is that it takes a lot of time. Every day. Posting and replying. Searching out new connections. And not just on one social media network, but on two or three, or more. There is no effective “set it and forget it” method. No leveraging your time. But, is There a Better Way? You could decide that social media is just too time-consuming. And go after a quicker and easier way to build your business. But that’s not a good choice these days. Despite its drawbacks, social media really is the easiest and most effective way to build your business. However,...

Is Your Social Media Strategy a Waste of Time?

Is it possible that all the time you’re spending developing a social media strategy is wasted? I heard Tony Hsieh of Zappos say something in an interview a few weeks ago that made me think we might be taking all of this social media strategy stuff too seriously. When asked about Zappos’ social media strategy, Tony said, “Just be real, and use your best judgment.” Sounds reasonable. But what did this mean for the 50 blog posts I’d read over the last few weeks that spent a thousand words detailing how to develop your social media strategy for 2013? Can we just delete all of those and tell ourselves (and our employees) to “just be real, and use your best judgment?” Probably not. But I do think the “experts” tend to over-analyze stuff a lot. And I think we may all benefit from a simpler strategy that does focus more on “being real,” rather than worrying about who you are trying to be on social media. The Zappos Way There are two things Zappos does that makes this simple strategy work for them ~ where for others it would result in common occurrences of inappropriate and embarrassing tweets, followed by apologies and explanations. If you can do these two things, it will simplify your social media strategy, and your whole business. 1. Develop Your Core Values As Zappos began to grow really big, they took input from all employees and boiled it down into 10 core values to define the company’s family culture. And this isn’t just one of those “look good” kind of things that hangs out on...

3 “Fixes” for Facebook Pages that Don’t Really Fix Anything

If you have a Facebook Business Page (or “Fan Page” as they used to be called), you’ve certainly heard the outrage about alleged Facebook EdgeRank algorithm changes. Rumor has it Facebook has reduced the number of people who see your Page posts. Why would Facebook do such a thing? So that you’ll buy “sponsored stories” and “page post ads.” You pay Facebook a little money, and they’ll show your post higher in the new feed, or on the right hand side of the page. Facebook makes money, and more people get a chance to see and interact with your post. Turns out, the reduction in the number of people seeing Page posts happened at around the same time Facebook launched these “Promoted Posts.” So people assumed some evil “monetization” intent by Facebook. However, according to this excellent TechCrunch article, the Facebook change effected only how often “spammy” Pages were seen in the News Feed. If you look at the 101 comments after the article, you will see that many have personal experiences challenging Facebook’s claim that legitimate Pages weren’t effected. Whatever the case may be, Facebook admits that on average, only 16% of your Page’s fans see your posts. That’s not very many. And maybe Facebook tweaked things a little to decrease your Page’s exposure. Or maybe the decrease, and the introduction of “Promoted Posts” was nothing more than some sort of cosmic coincidence. Either way, having to pay to be seen did not sit well with Facebook users. Social media is suppose to be free, right? Possibly in anticipation of, and in response to, the outrage over social media...

The Right Way to Use Automation in Social Media

To automate or not to automate has been the subject of much debate since I began using social media. "You have to automate if you're going to have time to do anything else in your business," many have said. "But automation in social media means you aren't engaged with people," the purists argued back. And, perhaps the purists had a point, at one time. But, with the realities of social media these days, and the number of tools available to assist in your automation, you would be crazy if you were posting on all of your social media networks in real time. And, it would be impossible for you to have a profitable business without working 24/7. What those who argue against automation in social media miss is this hugely important rule: Automation does not equal absence. You can't schedule all of your content for the day at 7:00 a.m., close your social media networks and come back to check them again at 9:00 p.m. But you can schedule your content and still engage. Let's look at how. How to Schedule Everything      Your Posts Either the night before, or first thing in the morning, schedule all of your tweets, LinkedIn and Google+ business page posts for the day through Hootsuite. Schedule all of your Facebook page posts using the Facebook scheduler.  Plan your posts for your Google+ personal page and Pinterest. I know you probably don't use all of these social media networks daily, and I'm not suggesting you must, just pick the ones you use.      Your Engagement Again, either the night before or first thing...