There are many posts on the Internet about secrets to using social media; however, I did not find one that referred to using it “properly.” I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty important qualifier.

There’s a certain irony to using social media for your business: You want to get more clients and make more money. To put it bluntly, isn’t that what we want from our marketing efforts? We talk about ROI, and as an accountant, I find myself frequently explaining to people that you can’t calculate ROI on social medial efforts.

For one thing, the biggest investment is your time. There’s no out-of-pocket cost for your time, so at a cost of {$content}, when you divide the revenue by {$content}, you get an imaginary number. Moreover, you can write a blog post or record a video tomorrow, publish it, and it can go viral, bringing you all kinds of business. What is the ROI on that? It’s still an imaginary number.

Well, actually, it’s infinity, but hey, who’s counting?

The first secret to using social media properly is to ignore ROI. It just doesn’t work that way. Oh, but wait – the ironic part is that you want to get more clients and make more money, but if that’s what you set out to do, you’re finished before you start.

Social media is just a tool. It’s a potentially really loud megaphone that lets you get a message out to many people really fast. However, you don’t want to go out there just to get a message out to a lot of people really fast. If you do that, you’ll be finished before you start. The second secret to using social media properly is don’t set out to shove a message down peoples’ throats.

Here’s the third secret: What you DO want to do with social media. The key is the “social” part. Meet people. Give them the digital version of a handshake and ask them how you can help. Keep doing that, over and over again. For example, search Twitter for “QuickBooks®” and look for people who are complaining about it. Offer them help. I used to find and bookmark the tweet so that I could go produce the content that answered their question. Then, I would reply to them and offer them the link to a post where I answer their question. Who do you think they’ll call the next time they need help? Make sure that wherever you produce content, the means to contact you is extremely clear and obvious.

When you repeat the process described above, you wind up with a mountain of content. That mountain of content adds up to a tremendous resource. That resource attracts a lot of people with whom you can shake hands. As you build a community of people you can shake hands with, you can begin to spread a message really fast.

It’s as if you have this incredibly loud megaphone. Wait, but I said not to do that? Well, now you can because you have a message of value with a mountain of content standing behind it, serving as the proof of what you would otherwise only be able to claim you can do. Now you’ve proven it, before you ever have to sell it, so you never have to sell it.

There’s one catch, caveat, proviso or forewarning on this. You’ll need a tool for spreading that message of value. Let’s face it … you’ve got a business to run and you can’t be spending all of your time talking with people online, right? There are many apps for that. Here’s a video to show you the one I love to use (or click on the box below).


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