Social media iconsYou know you should be on social media, but you’d rather do anything BUT social media.

Good news. Sue Walker says listening, engaging with others and being human is more important than cranking out a daily status update.

At a recent lunch & learn session, the social media strategist and founder of Soac Media shared tips for becoming a better listener and joining in social media:

Sue loves Twitter but admits it can be noisy. To do:

  • Use Tweetdeck to cut down the noise, easily see mentions of your own name and join in conversations.
  • Create a list (for example, of your clients) and save it as a column in Tweetdeck, or use the columns to track competitors, industries or other interests.

Instagram is very visual and most often seen on phones. It’s a great channel if you are a photographer or sell a product that lends itself to great photos. Otherwise, If you’re time-crunched and can only focus on one social media channel, Instagram isn’t it; try LinkedIn or Facebook.

LinkedIn is a good channel for B2B (business to business). To do:

  • You should have a personal LinkedIn profile, where a good professional photo is important.
  • If you have your own business, Sue also recommends creating a LinkedIn company page.
  • Check out people who look at your profile. If they look like someone you might do business with, send a message asking if you can help them.
  • Do the same with people you don’t know who ask to connect.
  • Regularly review your profile and page and update them at least once a year.
  • Post occasional updates and respond to people who mention you.

Facebook is also good for B2B but even better for B2C (business to consumer). Again, have both a personal and a business page. To do:

  • In your personal profile, don’t talk business; mention following you on your business page.
  • There, focus on providing value and increasing engagement with followers.
  • Check this by paying attention to how well your posts are doing via the Insights tab at the top and checking stats on Likealyzer.
  • Make sure your posts aren’t all about you, and don’t get caught up in the number of likes and followers.

Sue also recommends:

  • Google alerts: Google your own name (your business name, clients, competitors, keywords, etc.), select the News tab and scroll down to create a daily or weekly alert. You’ll get an email whenever Google finds a new mention.
  • Google My Business: This is a free listing you create with Google for better search results.
  • E-newsletters: Sue uses MailChimp for her own newsletter, which she says is a great way to stay in touch with clients.

If that still seems overwhelming, take it slow. Start small and focus on listening, and start or keep up conversations.

Sue Walker is a Social Media Strategist and founder of Soac Media, where you can find more tips for using social media. She specializes in helping small businesses better connect with their customers through social media and creative e-newsletters. Image: “gerait” and Pixabay.