What’s Your Social Media Strategy?

If you�re not connected, you should be�with a plan. Here�s how to make virtual networking work for you

• Blogs or websites should contain SEO, or search engine optimized, keywords and phrases that help visitors find the business when they search via Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others. Laidler also suggests pulling in RSS feeds and useful links into your blog. “RSS feeds allow you to import content from outside sources and are a great way to share information that visitors find interesting.”

• Work on engagement and consistency. For example, your Twitter timeline should be a combination of original updates, retweets, or shares from other sources, replies from connections, inspirational quotes, and trending topics. A standard formula is two to four tweets per day. Positive activity can also blossom quickly and create buzz that reaches well beyond a business’ core audience. In the virtual world, consumers and job seekers can become influencers and trendsetters by persuading their network to take action or buy a product or service. Laidler suggests using tools like Klout or Twittergrader.com to measure your social media influence and find out the reach of your Twitter posts.

• Choose a picture for your social media avatar, rather than a logo, advises Joel Comm, social media expert and New York Times best-selling author of Twitter Power. “People like faces associated with companies. Customize your Twitter background. Use photos, links, contact information, RSS feeds, etc. to individualize and promote your brand.”

• Choose a third-party application or service, such as TweetDeck or Hoote Suite, SocialOomph, and Twaitter, which allows quick, easy distribution of posts and other content among multiple social media sites. “You can incorporate plug-ins or apps on the sidebar of your blog page that allows visitors to easily access all your social media,” says Laidler. “All social media sites have plug-ins or widgets that allow fast, easy updates with one click.”

• Don’t follow everyone who follows you on Twitter. Conduct targeted keyword searches for individuals, companies, and other industry players who are important to you or who you want to have as a client.

• Show off your expertise. If you’re in business, you’re already an expert with valuable information people want to know, Comm says. Use your talents, passion, ability, and personality to your advantage.

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