People who are really smart about how to make money by selling insurance, investments, real estate or running a restaurant all say the same thing: “I don’t know what to write about my business. I don’t know what to say.”
As a result, you don’t know what to make of Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the rest of the booming social media and online communications tools.
You gotta be kidding, right? You’re the experts and the rest of us want to know more about what you’ve already figured out. So there’s opportunity for you to share some of your knowledge. There’s also a big opportunity for you to share some of yourself by joining online conversations and groups and getting to know people.
That’s what social networking is all about. And conversations online are in so many ways no different that conversations you have in person — if you approach them in these three ways:
• Share something about your business
Here’s your big chance. Write about what you have on sale today. Announce your new product line or service. Brag about an award for top quality or employees you’ve promoted or hired. Here are new examples from members of the Northeast Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce who make highly effective use of their chamber group on Linkedin.
Drive sales by creating a special offer with its own redemption code or coupon and offer it only on Twitter. Invite your followers to visit your store today and tell their followers to start following you to receive the same offer.
Ask and answer questions on Linkedin and blogs and message boards related to your line of work. Provide information that will help someone out. Raise new questions or add insight that lead the online conversation in another direction.
• Share something about yourself
Make friends and contacts. Network. Let people know what you’re interested in and ask about what they’re interested in, too.
Write about how you’re leading a team that will walk for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society — and ask people to make a donation to support your team.
Write about what you’re looking forward to this weekend — riding horses, coaching soccer, showing off your ride at a car show, dinner out with friends, the game you’ve going to or watching on TV. Here’s how Jeff Zaret, vice president of sales at National Processing Services, takes this approach.
You’re right, this is not writing about business. But it is about building relationships that can lead to business.
• Share something new, useful or entertaining
The best tweets on Twitter are the first to announce an event, or link to an interesting article or video, or are just darn funny or revealing remarks about something that’s just happened.
Think about using Twitter, Linkedin, blogs and any of the social networking and communications media in the same way that you communicate with your customers and business partners.
Write about the business topics that you talk about over coffee or at lunch or at happy hour. Not the confidential or proprietary details. But the business trends, new products launches, how the economy is affecting you and what to do about it.
Write about the small-talk topics that you talk about over coffee or at lunch or at happy hour, too.
And remember that we all meet up and stick with the people who share the freshest information about business and provide the most useful tips, the funniest jokes and the most original insights about the day’s events. You’d definitely talk and write about this if it happened to you. And you all will recognize this tweeter and continue to be awed by what he has to say.
It’s no different online with social media, where you should write about what you already know and do.