Post and Run Is No Way to Behave
Being socially engaged can mean different things to different people. There are some that think posting a link to their sales pages in hundreds of social media groups and running out is good engagement but most of us don’t. Playing this numbers game offers no personal and educational value and, for the most part, will turn people off. It soaks up time and puts your name out there but does it really get the desired results? Personally I think it will take a very long time to get worthwhile results and it certainly will not build a following or any kind of brand loyalty.
Add Value With Your Content
Your time is far better invested in building your personal brand by adding value. You do this by delivering great original content by employing your own personality, experience, humour and experience. Ensure that it provokes a response and you will get a two-way conversation. The more you hit the right notes the greater the engagement and the shareability of your content. Doing this consistently over time develops your reputation and client confidence.
This assertion is not new! Being part of social media groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and the like means you want to connect with your clients and the world at large. So it surprises me that I constantly see link posting and running with zero engagement in many of the groups I frequent. Think of any one of these groups as a group of people you do not yet know in a specific real world environment (ie at a party, in a pub). Would you walk in to such an environment and say “Hi – I am Joe Bloggs, check out my website. I have great stuff to sell.”? Having delivered your key message would you then wait to deal the deluge of enquiries (lol) or simply walk away from that environment and move on to the next without any further ado? I very much doubt this is how it would play out in the real world. It would be pretty bad manners to behave like this for all sorts of reasons. Time and place come immediately to mind but, more importantly, knowing, liking and trusting are all important. How do you expect anyone to like you if you pitch and run?
Choose the Right Groups for the Right Purpose
It is important to understand that groups are individual and the many different types of groups will often have a specific agenda and some even have rules. Some groups are designed for the direct sell approach and are more than likely pitched at business to business. Others might be set up specifically to ensure goal accountability and offer support in achieving those goals.
Whatever group you join, when you are the newbie it is best to check what the ground rules are. Get off on the wrong note with a direct #buymystuff pitch and you will simply alienate your audience, be ignored and possibly be removed by a group Admin. Get a reputation for doing this with every group you join and you could find yourself blocked with no way back as there are a lot of crossovers in groups and you could find your reputation follows you. Get it right and you can build strong, lasting relationships, make friends and gain new business.
In short, apply the same rules of successful networking and those employed in a social setting and you will get a lot more out of the time you invest in online groups.