Social media. Do those words alone cause a panic attack and drowning sensation? How the heck can one human being possibly keep up with the constant onslaught of blogging, tweeting, posting, Pinning, connecting when you have a freaking business to run?
If you’re like most people, you’re doing one of three things:
1. You’ve doubled-down on a few networks and use them all the time
2. You’re killing yourself trying to be in 50 places at once – and not seeing any ROI
3. You’ve opted out completely because it all just gives you a headache
Building your brand awareness online is vital in today’s marketplace. Why? One, customers expect you to be available online in some way, shape or form (I’m still reeling from a woman with no website because “I don’t want the wrong people finding me. I get enough business through referrals.” Um. Okay. How long will that last?) In fact, I’m dubious of any business these days who doesn’t have any real-time online presence. Makes me think they are fly-by-night.
Two, you need to prove you are relevant and current. That you keep up with trends. And three, there’s just good old fashioned lead generation. You can find and connect with partners and potential clients or customers more easily and cost-effectively if you blog or play in social media.
If you’re trying to keep your head above water when it comes to social media, then grab a lifeline from these 6 people you absolutely need to know to make your life easier.
Sarah Von Bargen: Sarah is a brilliant copywriter and master blogger. We partner on many of my SLICE sessions and part of what she delivers is practical advice on your content marketing strategy. Read her small business blog (or her very fun personal blog which gets over 11,000 readers a day!) and consider one of her sessions to get your blog working for you, not against you. She’ll even share ideas for how to promote your posts effectively in other channels to get more readers. Check out this recent post on avoiding social media overwhelm. Brilliant. Follow her: @yesandyes
Amy Schmittauer: I’m loving the fresh, practical advice this “Savvy Sexy Social” gal is dishing up, especially when it comes to using video effectively. Sign up for her weekly videos where she gives you entertaining and practical advice on all things social media, whether it’s Google +, Twitter or her sweet spot, creating videos. Amy makes everything seem doable and easy and doesn’t overcomplicate. Love that. Check out this recent post on how to make cheap awesome videos. Follow her: @savvysexysocial
Amy Porterfield: This social media strategist is the queen of cracking the Facebook nut, and she’s charming, approachable and knowledgeable to boot. I took one of her digital programs and, while normally a skeptic . I got so much value out of it, I couldn’t believe she didn’t charge more. She comments on many other social media channels, but Facebook seems to be her sweet spot. Check out her extremely useful Resources page if you’ve ever wondered, “Is there an online solution that will help me do x?” Follow her: @amyporterfield
Sandy Jones-Kaminski: Sandy is a networking queen who – literally – wrote the book on it. She has mastered how to use social media – and LinkedIn in particular – not just for effective networking but for more sales, more business opportunities and more leads. I’ve seen her literally work on someone’s LinkedIn profile and that person received two fresh leads the next day. No joke. She offers everything from workshops, to consulting to spot-audits of your profile. Follow her: @sandyjk
Karen Rosenzweig: Karen is a personal friend and a social media colleague, who specializes in restaurants, food businesses and hospitality – but she consults with any solopreneur or small biz to assess, create and/or manage their social channels more effectively for more customers, more sales and more buzz. I actually consulted with Karen when my book, Branding Basics, was published and she helped me use Twitter effectively to reach the right influencers and build buzz for the book when I had no clue how to use what is now my favorite channel. She also does group trainings. Follow her @karenrosenzweig
Tracy Warren: Tracy’s specialty is handling the day-to-day social media efforts of the business, acting as a ghost writer/marketer. She offers coaching and page creation – as well as ongoing management (hurrah!) for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Biznik. Her focus is primarily on small businesses, solopreneurs and other organizations who just want someone to take things over and get it done, including non-profits, events, and even brick and mortar businesses. What I love about her blog is her clear, easy, uncomplicated advice for your social media efforts. Follow her @readysetgrow
Photo credit: Pipistrula on Flickr