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If a Tweet falls in the Internet and no one hears it…

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With all the noise being made about and on
social media networks, it’s amazing anything of value comes out of them at all.
Let’s face it; most of us old people got going on sites like Facebook to
monitor what our kids were doing. While keeping tabs on our teens we got
friended by people we don’t really care about and we quickly un-friended them
when they posted once too often about what they ate for dinner. There’s a lot
of useless information out there that makes the value proposition of social
media look dismal.

If you’re a small business or nonprofit
trying to build awareness and relationships, it’s important to listen and be
heard without becoming a part of the problem with a lot of social media today.

Despite my rant, I am not saying social media
participation has zero value and should be avoided at all cost. However,
companies and organizations participating in social media have to strike the
right balance of sharing information with their fans, friends, and followers as
to not alienate them. Tipping the balance to far in favor of annoyance can do
more harm than good with your customers.

We know that it’s important to have some
presence on the major social media networks – particularly Twitter and
Facebook. On Twitter, you can monitor what people are saying about your brand,
products, or the market you operate in. 
With Facebook, there’s an audience of 300-plus million people and
chances are, a few of them are your customers or people you would like to be
customers.

First you have to make sure there’s an
audience on the various networks interested in reading what you have to
say?  You also have to make sure
what you say to that audience is of use to them. Offer them content of value –
not just noise for making noise’s sake.

Finally, don’t get caught up in the numbers
game. It’s not how many fans, friends, and followers you have. It’s about the
relationships you build with them and how you interact with them.

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It’s called social networking for a reason.
Social networks are about conversations and sharing of ideas and content. Be
social with your virtual friends in as balanced a way as you would with customers
when dealing with them in person.  

 

About the author

Eric Groves is CEO and co-founder of Alignable (alignable.com). Alignable, the social network for local businesses to connect, collaborate, find new customers, share and learn with industry peers.

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