Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Matching the Pace of Social Media Change - 3 Simple To-Dos

Twitter's just launched business pages and a new mobile look. Facebook relaunched a few months ago, with some much needed privacy features. Every day a new "social" platform pops up with promises of connecting you to your audience, your network and the great wealth out there just waiting to be had.

And here you are, juggling every single aspect of your business from acquisitions and logistics to customer service and marketing. How on earth can you keep up with the pace?

Here are three daily to-dos to keep you walking side by side with the fast pace of Social Media:

Research

Take 5 minutes every day to read the headlines in your industry...and another 5 to read about recent changes in Social Media.

Twitter's video takes 1 minute 49 seconds to watch. Watch it. That still leaves you with over 3 minutes to scan the headlines from your top business sources.




Trial

Obviously, not every new system or platform that comes across your desk is going to be right for you. Twice a week - or three times, if you're having a slow week, sign up for a trial. Use the platform, check the scores, see if that system has any value to you. Shelly Kramer points out, in her article about the new Twitter business pages that many Twitter users never go to Twitter's page at all. Perhaps building a business page there is not that high priority for you.

Don't worry that some blogger said it was the best new platform of the year - they may have a vested interest, or they may simply have different needs than you do. Know whether you're looking for a tool to give you the 10,000 mile perspective or leads to opinion leaders in your town before you make time to sign up for a trial. Consider the time it'll take to develop a profile. Can you do it quickly, or will it mean weeks of meetings with your "web guy"? Each new platform that pops up, take a moment to decide what time you're willing to invest.

Try out the service for a week. At the end of that week, if you can't think of a single reason to use it again, delete your account, then move on. Don't worry if the Social Media news is full of that system, it's not for you.

If you love that system, let people know. Share your insight with you peers. Become an advocate for a system that works for you.

Integrate

When you've found that system that really resonates, tell the company. Offer to beta-test new features. Let the company know you're out there advocating.

Integrate that platform into your day, so it's just another five minutes while you have your morning coffee. Check the dashboard, integrate the information into your day. Decide what works for you, and discard the rest.

You don't start running 20 miles a day - don't try to keep up with every single change in Social Media. When you take a few moments every day to Research - Trial - Integrate, the fast pace of Social Media won't be intimidating. You won't be "keeping up," you'll be walking side-by-side with the tools you need.
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