It is always difficult when we have something that can be used for both personal and professional gain. Since many of us began using social media to connect with friends, family and like-minded people, we forget that it is not the same application for business.
Understanding that there needs to be a difference is where your success can begin. Applying the same strategy you have for your personal social media accounts to your business social media accounts is a fail. Let’s talk about the difference.
Personal Social Media
Your personal social networks are constructed of people who either know you, acquaintances or people who share something in common with you. This doesn’t mean you have ever met them offline, but we tend to friend, follow or circle people who have a common interest as us. If we didn’t then we would have useless feeds and inevitably the social site would become meaningless.
Therefore we share our lives through family photos, images of pets, our outings and update about how we feel, think or if we are in need of answers. We gain responses and activities due to the proper connections we have made and thus we are networking socially.
On your personal social media accounts it is acceptable to be random; a place to share cat photos, random Internet memes, articles that vary and expand on your personal interests.
Though aiming to connect with like-minded people when using social media for business applies, the buck stops there when comparing with what you do with your personal accounts.
Social Media for Business
Since your goal is to connect with like-minded people you need to think of how your particular Industry cannot only find like-minded people to follow, like, or circle, but to have them find you easily as well. The first step is easy; the second part has been a task more difficult since businesses are still applying what they would do on their personal accounts.
In order for you to be found by like-minded people you need to stop being random. Drop the cat photos, random memes, thoughts, opinions and expressions. Narrow your use of social media to two, yes only two main topics; Industry related and Local.
Within those two main topics many sub-topics can arise that are still related to what you do and where you are located. We might want to be friends with people from across the world personally, but for our business that connection is not as valuable as connecting with your neighbor or a person in a neighboring town.
Thus, connecting locally is ideal as well as connecting with people who share the interest of your Industry. This means that you share high quality images, tips, facts, history and how-to’s about your company, Industry and community.
This then allows people to find you since the topics you are sharing places your business in any and many algorithms (search or social) as being an authority. It also builds credibility that you know what you are doing, that you are willing to share knowledge and most importantly, that you care.
Business social media needs to differ from personal social media in order for your business to strive to thrive within the social media world. Just because someone says they know or understand social media does not make them the right candidate for your business social media accounts.
Finding time and/or the right people or person to handle your business social media is dependent on how they can make social media work for you instead of working on social media for you, there is a difference.