“What Should I Do?” – Microblogging

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on June 28, 2010 in: Social Media Mindmeister

By now, regular readers recognize my “What Should I Do?” series in which I go through the Social Media Mindmap on MindMeister and give tips and ideas on how to use the information in that branch of the map to benefit from social media in your business.

Today’s topic is microblogging.

The mindmap lists Twitter and Plurk although I’ve seen others (usually more niched microblogs) and I think an argument can be made to include Facebook statuses and LinkedIn updates. The social media mindmap also gives several Twitter tools that can make your Twitter account look better and make tweeting more effective.

I’m not going to talk about the mechanics of tweeting because I cover that elsewhere but I will give you some tips about microblogging more effectively:

Which one?
So, let’s start with the basic question: Which one should you use? Twitter? Plurk? Facebook? LinkedIn? One of the other bazillion microblog clones that are springing up?

Lisa Barone, of OutspokenMedia, wisely suggests that you choose a flagship community and focus on it. Don’t try to do all of them. This is good advice for a business considering many different marketing channels but it applies equally well to selecting just one microblogging platform. I like Twitter because it’s a big, open, and widely adopted community. Facebook and LinkedIn aren’t as easily accessible by others and Plurk has an interesting horizontal “timeline” interface but feels a little garish (the way Myspace has turned out to be). Ultimately, though, you need to figure out where your best audience is likely to be and meet them there.

Optimize it
Once you’ve chosen your flagship microblogging community, you need to customize it. Add a background, fill out the profile, etc. Don’t leave the default settings in place because it is not only boring but also a practice that a lot of spammers use.

Add friends (or followers or fans or whatever the term is in your particular microblogging community). Don’t just add anyone; add those who could be your customers. You want to listen to them so you can meet their needs.

I think this is the biggest failure that entrepreneurs encounter on microblogging sites: They fail to share themselves. People encounter dry, boring businesses all day long. They want to connect with other people and it’s okay to share a little of your own personality when microblogging.

Be consistent
There is nothing more annoying on blogs than to read the words “I’m sorry I haven’t blogged for a while…” and it’s the same on microblogging sites. If you’re going to use Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, LinkedIn, or whatever other site is out there, be consistent. Communicate regularly. Share constantly. You don’t have to overwhelm people with content and if you only tweet (or plurk or microblog) a couple of times a day then that’s better than nothing. But do it every day.

People like the idea of starting a blog but they can be a lot of work. Twitter (and the rest) are blogs, too, but they are much smaller and can be far more interactive. Become a microblogger and share yourself with your market.

Happy (micro)blogging!

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