I get e-mails from LinkedIn at least once a day to “leverage my professional network” or ask me to join their “LinkedIn recruiter” or to tell me about available jobs.
Thankfully, my Facebook profile is linked to an old e-mail address, so no spam in my inbox from there.
I have not opened Twitter or Pininterest accounts even though I have downloaded the iPhone apps.
The thing is, if you are blogging for business, how much time is too much time to spend between blogging, leveraging your networks, actually running your business and trying to juggle your family and other personal obligations?
This is quite a hot-button topic over at the Commons for Blogging 201.
Do we simply not see the amazing benefits that social networking can bring?
My personal take:
If the answer was that simple, everyone would be doing it.
Simply having a social media account on every platform simply won’t cut it in my opinion.
It is one thing if you already have a large established personal network. However, if you don’t, this means that you will need to spend a significant amount of time building up a network there – and you need to make sure that your brand identity is consistent across platforms.
In fact, having a shoddy profile on one platform may cost you a valuable client. I equate it to going to an important interview with dust on your shoes. It doesn’t matter how perfectly you have done your hair and make-up, if the interviewer is a keen observer, they will notice. And even if they don’t, it will detract from your self-confidence.
I honestly do keep asking myself if I am doing my business a disservice by not immediately focussing on engaging on social media and making use of, for example, Facebook groups.
Then I remind myself of why I initially started using my blog in the first place. Yes, I did want to build up a network of like-minded and respected people because this would give credibility to my site. However, I find that by taking part in Blogging 201, I have already made contact with a number of like-minded professionals who are interested in helping me improve.
Mainly, my goal with my site was to establish a reference library where I could send potential clients so they can see some of my capability.
When I take into account that I already have access to the contact information for very large populations of my targeted market segments, I do start wondering whether this social media business is really worth the effort. Why go for general blanket advertising when you can market directly?
I have, however, created accounts for a number of local online business directories and I have posted a link to my business blog there.
I will also be adding the features which will allow users to comment directly on my blog using their other social media profiles, as opposed to expecting them to open a WordPress account to communicate with me on my site. I do have my e-mail address available, so this does not refer to private communication, but to comments, etc.
My conclusion is that, although I would love to expand my reach via these platforms in the future, there are already too many people using those platforms who offer services similar to mine. I have other avenues available for marketing, so I am going to use those for now.
This will include getting my monthly newsletter ready for publication.
I believe that every action you take should (not necessarily directly!) promote the achievement of your objectives. My objectives are to gain visibility (Blogging 201, online business directories, but ultimately my blogs) that will establish me as a leader in my field and make people more likely to trust my capabilities. This still means focussing on content first and foremost.
Please see here for the original Blogging 201 challenge.
Please see here for my blogging goals.
I also read Platforms are Overrated today and doing so validated my opinion again.