Is Social Media a place to cyber-stalk people or a way to really build your business?

Okay, the cyber-stalk thing is (mostly) a joke.

I work with a lot of new entrepreneurs and small busiseses who want to use social media to build their business, not just tell the world what they had for lunch and what they are up to next (sometimes those types of updates are great).

How do we ADD VALUE to our audience and position ourselves as the experts in our industry? I continue to learn every day and don’t pretend to be the expert, yet. I’m working on it though. Here are three tips to show you valuable topics you can talk about in your social media efforts:

1. Create a mastermind

Have a brainstorm session about what you should post, tweet and blog about. You walk away with a page of topics, questions you can answer, and much more that will keep you busy for a solid month (or more) on new material that ADDS VALUE to the lives of your clients and prospects.

2. Research and Follow

Follow popular blogs, Tweeters, and befriend people on Facebook to give you some examples of different styles of writing. You will soon learn what annoys you and what you naturally gravitate toward. Always keep your writing in your own voice. If you have “ghost writers” for your social media efforts then make sure they represent you well, which they should if they are good ghost writers.

3. Just Do It

You have to start somewhere so bit the bullet and start. You will see your updates and blog posts evolve and you will get into your groove of what is authentic to you and what is accomplishing your goals. In addition to just doing it, make sure you adapt. If what you are tweeting about doesn’t get more people to follow and to your website then be open to changing your approach.

The technical part of social media we can easily grasp. But you know those people who always have brilliant posts, the one-sentence updates, that captivate you and you click on their link and join their newsletter. The question is, how can we all do that and leverage our time on social media? Let’s face it, sometimes you can get sucked into Facebook or Twitter and a couple hours go by and what was accomplished? One rule of thumb that I use is if social media creates 20% of my sales volume then it’s probably a good idea to spend 20% of my marketing time on social media, rather than 50+%.

Additional Resources:

Get Educated: Stop trying to do this in a vacuum. There are many webinars, online articles and workshops on this hot topic. Biz Divas is hosting a social media workshop that will go over some specifics but will also take you on a brainstorm exercise so you leave with dozens of topics you can write about.

Google is our friend: Google what you want to know: Top Tweeters, popular blogs, etc. Learn from the best.

See the top Tweeters in different categories: You can look at their posts and get a flavor of their style. For a list of the top Tweeters:

How to find the top tweeters in your city:

In Facebook simply do searches for groups or fan pages and befriend people who are part of groups that resonate with your message.

Happy posting!