Know what your objectives for using it are
If you are on social media, whichever form, for personal reasons, keeping up with friends etc, don't justify that to yourself as work time. It's not! What is different is those people who you are creating relationships with who fit into the work that you do.
So, it's important to know in your mind what your objective for being on social media is - both in the generic, strategic sense, and also in relation to the time you are on there on any given day Harley Dean. It's absolutely important for social media to share of yourself as well as of your business, you just need to clear up in your head whether you are in business time or your own time! If you were working for someone, would that tweet, message or email be appropriate, or not?
Way Two: Ensure that the media you use and the way you use it is appropriate to your vision and client groups
Another area of coaching I have is being a career coach, and I've seen a few articles recently about how companies are very aware of the impact of social media for those they are recruiting - on recruitment support programs, clients are being asked to be aware of what their social media says about them. Do you have pictures, links etc which are great for your friends but not exactly what you want your clients and prospects to see? It's good to go though every so often and check that the posts, links, photo's etc are "on message" and what you want people to think about you and the way that you work.
In the same way, asking questions of your clients, or finding out if they are on social media, is another great way to find out if they are adopters of these methods, and whether you can use them to add additional value to them. A good way to do this is to use the search methods on those social sites that have them to find out what conversations are taking place about what are you focus on.
Way Three: Be structured with how much time you spend on social networking
By knowing what your objective is, it also helps you to get clearer about how much time you are willing to invest in social media. Knowing this also then makes it easier to know when to switch off, and work on other areas of your business. For instance, it may be that you want to apply rules that have been out there for a while on dealing with email, to the way you work through social media.
Way Four: Get it together
Often you have the opportunity on a lot of social media sites now, and blog hosting platforms, to link them together so you put a post/ comment in one place and it will feed through to the other site as well. This helps as it keeps your message consistent, gets it out there in as many places as possible, and saves you time and effort, because you don't need to repost it yourself and a wider audience of people see it.
Way Five: See what experts are doing and try it to see if it works for you
Many tools are new - a lot of what I learnt myself on social media has been through following recommendations from others on social media sites that give you an idea of what to do. Don't re-invent the wheel - listen to those who are movers and shakers at this stuff and make the most of it to try it out to see if it works for you! And then pass on the information to others who may be interested. It's surprising how much you learn, how quickly!
Way Six Keep in touch, more easily and more effectively.
If your clients are in your social media groups, then it is easy to give them an update or an individual contact. Often you can send out a short link, immediately giving some value. These are extra ways you can keep in touch as well as your main contact with your clients. They have a quick question or would like some help - social media may well prove to be the fastest way to do it!
Way Seven - Make it easy for people to find you on social media
Have how to reach you on the main social media sites that you do in prominent places including your email signature etc. That means you don't have to keep re-writing all the information, as it is right there, and boosts the likelihood that others will connect with you that way and all a sudden you are into their contact circle.