So you have your website up and running, and maybe you even have a Blog. You set up a Facebook page, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. You’ve done everything people are saying you need to do – so why are you disappointed with the results?

Because–you need to also know how to effectively use these social media venues. In order to make an impact, you need to understand how each venue works, how they differ from each other and what are their strong points.

Here’s a brief overview of each of the most popular venues:

Website: usually a static page – much like your business card or resume. People may first visit your page for a number of reasons: to find out how to contact you, read more about what you offer or how your company was formed. As an author, readers may want to learn more about you and what other books you’ve written.
But you can make your website more interactive (to encourage them to visit over and over) by adding a blog and making regular posts, or add an information pamphlet in PDF form that readers can download, or an eBook they can order. You could even create a little form that they fill out that gives you more info as to their needs and wants…get creative.

Blog: this is where you can connect with potential clients and readers on an emotional, personal level – appeal to their sense of humor, inspire them, give them something to help make their life better, happier.
These are tough times – give and share to others unselfishly and they will give back to you. You can set up your blog to accept comments from others or not, depending upon the nature of your blog and how much you want to interact with your readers.
If you don’t feel confident writing a blog – that’s okay. All of you have something to say. Write it to the best of your ability and then hire someone to edit it for you. You can also post other people’s blogs as guest posts (with their permission). Most people would LOVE to have his or her blog featured elsewhere!

LinkedIn: this is your professional resume, online. This should be business-like and contain as much relevant information as possible. People cannot post on your LinkedIn page, except to post a Recommendation (and you have the option to accept it or not). LinkedIn is used by companies who are looking to hire. Those looking to be hired use it to find job opportunities. That said – LinkedIn is also a place where people search for specific services they need, or areas of expertise they want to network within.
One of the quickest ways to use LinkedIn to grow your network is to join Groups that interest you – join in on forum discussions within the Group, and connect up with other members in your Group.

Business Facebook Page: Please remember that this is a SOCIAL venue. You must be social here – NOT business sounding. You will turn off readers and potential clients if you are all business and all about advertising.
It’s fine to provide good information and share articles that you find interesting, but make sure you are doing it in that light, from your own personal experience. You must share with others and gain their trust before they will consider reading about your products or service. Mix it up – post your blog or an interesting article that pertains to your business, but make you next post something personal, inspirational or just plain funny. Sharing of yourself is what matters here.
This is NOT the place to voice your own personal political and religious views. Do you really want to risk insulting a potential client?

Twitter: I find Twitter is the most misunderstood of all the social media venues. People (who are not using Twitter) tell me all the time that the reason they are not on Twitter is because they don’t want to read a bunch of tweets from people telling them what they are doing every minute of their live. Really? Who are your friends following on Twitter–the Kardashian family?
Here’s an idea. Follow other business people – people you find interesting and inspiring, people who share the same hobbies and passions as you, people who share great info, articles, and insights.
Twitter is a great resource. It offers you a broad spectrum of information, rolling continuously through your news stream. You can quickly skim through the tweets and read only those that interest you. You may find something you want to post on your Facebook page, or you may find inspiration to write your own blog post.

I hope you find these tips helpful. This is a basic start and I’ll share much more in future posts.

As always – I love hearing from you. What challenges have you faced, and how did you overcome them? What concerns are you dealing with right now?