Social media is on the rise, and with it comes a variety of new business opportunities just waiting to be tapped by entrepreneurs. Though social networking began as a way to connect people to people, there are now applications for both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors as well. In an age where so many people are connected to social networks on a daily basis, it is important to not only learn, but to actively practice, social media management skills as a means of effective marketing.
To help you understand and focus on this burgeoning industry, consider the following slogan: “Engage, Inform, Retweet.”
What Does It All Mean?
“Engage, Inform, Retweet” is a simple set of instructions that can be easily repeated like a mantra to help one remember it in everyday practice. By focusing on these three key elements, business owners can safely, freely, and successfully market themselves to a wide audience of peers and customers without sounding like a pushy salesman. The simple premise is that if you Engage (interact with), Inform (provide details for), and Retweet (pass along a good message), with the people you interact with, they will be more likely to remember you and the services you provide, and they’re also more likely to return the favor and pass along a good word about your business as well.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these ideas in detail.
To Engage with peers and customers through social media sites means to be a part of the community and interact with people. It seems simple enough, but busy business owners often find themselves with too little time to focus on what they may see as frivolous communication. However, the benefits of engaging with others can pay off, and there are services available to help busy people manage their social networking time more effectively.
When Engaging others, the most important thing is to be yourself. Of only slightly less importance is to continuously interact with others and be sure to acknowledge when they interact with you. If someone posts a comment on your blog, be sure to take the time to write a thoughtful response; people like to know that their comments are being read by the author of a blog, tweet, or message board post, and they will remember which websites and feeds they can visit regularly to get that sort of response.
To Inform is to simply do what your marketing intuition tells you is best: let others know about products and services that you are providing. In and of itself, this may seem like the simplest aspect of the EIR motto, but underneath the surface it means a lot more than just self-promotion.
Informing people means not only sharing news about yourself, but about other people and businesses as well. Stay on top of industry news and share it with others you think might be interested in the same details. Chances are good that if you find something interesting, your target audience will as well; they will appreciate the heads-up and see you as an expert on the industry, even if you’re just well-read and are passing along information that you find elsewhere. Which ties nicely in with the third point.
Retweeting means passing along information that you find interesting and giving credit where credit is due. More than just informing your followers and readers about certain industry news, when you retweet something you are giving it your stamp of approval and letting others know that you like their work. Retweeting also lets your followers and readers know that you think what someone else is doing has merit – and that’s a positive thing.
Retweeting is at the core of the old saying “What goes around, comes around.” When you retweet, others are more likely to do the same for you. Ultimately this means more exposure and more followers or readers, which also means more leads for your business. Passing along a good word about another person can pay dividends, and it’s as simple as updating your own readers with a bit of information you find useful.
Though the “Engage, Inform, Retweet” motto has a lot of social media applications, it doesn’t have to stop there. These are good practices to use in your everyday life as well. It isn’t specific to one website or medium; it’s just good advice that can get you and your business some much-needed recognition. EIR is “word of mouth” in a nutshell, but actively practicing these techniques ensures that your word continues to get passed on.
Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur focusing on a new start-up or a corporate agent trying to promote a product, service, or other function, remember to always Engage, Inform, and Retweet. If it seems daunting, remember that we are always here to help.
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