Reference Guide: Managing Your Online Presence

Get Online: Social Media

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As more and more social platforms are developed, people increasingly ask: do I need to establish a presence on all of them? Not necessarily. It depends on a number of factors. Here are a few:

  • Goals
  • Product or service
  • Business objectives
  • Personal branding requirements and activities
  • Audience and customer’s preferred platforms

Finding time to maintain a presence everywhere is also a concern. Each platform takes time. They all differ slightly, so what works in one doesn’t necessarily carry over to another. Sure, you can purchase followers and set up your social sharing so the same information is pushed to multiple locations simultaneously. Do you want to though, really? You can’t build an audience or following overnight.

What to Join

Social media is not a one-size-fits-all situation. I think it’s important to be on many platforms. However, I don’t believe it’s always necessary to be on all of them. It really depends on a number of factors. Here are a few:

  • Goals
  • Product or service
  • Business objectives
  • Personal branding requirements and activities
  • Audience and customer’s preferred platforms

Finding Time and Efficient Posting: Getting the Most Mileage

Time is always in short supply. Finding time to devote to social is a serious issue and a valid business concern. That’s especially true when having to prove the ROI of time spent on social. How and when, you implore, can I possibly fit this in? Take heart; there is good news. There is a way to maximize your effort and get the most mileage out of what you post. It just takes careful planning. I’ve included several scenarios to give you some ideas.


You should be able to plan an editorial calendar so that you can use the same information in multiple platforms in the manner best suited for that platform. Here’s an example.

  • Write a blog post
  • Tweet a link to it in the morning
  • Post it in Facebook in the afternoon or early evening
  • Post it in Instagram
  • Share it on your LinkedIn status
  • Add it to your email newsletter
  • Use it to create a short video and share that in various platforms

If you plan all that ahead of time, you can get quite a bit of mileage from one item. If you’re just writing and posting randomly in various platforms, you’re wasting time. That said, I don’t recommend posting the same exact information (for instance, a tweet in Facebook and LinkedIn). You still have to vary the message to fit the platform.

For bloggers, I think you have to be everywhere. That’s why it’s so important to plan content and how and when to distribute it. You really need to stretch those postings as far and wide as possible.

Personal Branding

Let’s say that you don’t have a blog, but you want to build your professional reputation nonetheless. Here are some ideas for you.

  • Answer a question in a LinkedIn group once or twice a a week – but not more than once per day. And not in the same group. You don’t want to overdo it in LinkedIn. Don’t be a know-it-all in the groups or take over your connections’ newsfeeds. While it’s important to be visible in this platform, be careful so as not to wear out your welcome. Make each post worth people’s time. Don’t put anything out just to have something. Be picky. Would you rather be known as someone that talks relentlessly and aimlessly just to be heard, or do you prefer to have people listen in when you say something because you don’t always do so, and when you do, it’s great info to help them as well as their companies or followers. To me, this is an example of perhaps having a better ROI by not posting all the time. While you might need to be everywhere on multiple social platforms, you don’t have to be everywhere all the time. That saves you time right there. It’s not all-or-nothing on all platforms.
  • Read blogs relevant to your industry and periodically leave thoughtful, helpful comments. Bloggers usually make their posts and comments available via RSS feeds, so your comments may be shared via that way. If a blogger has an email newsletter, they likely include their blog posts. I’ve also seen people tweet that they’ve commented on a post and provide a link to the blog post. That also benefits the blogger, and not just for traffic. It shows that their blog is worthy of review and comment. Look for ways to make your various social postings a win-win for multiple people. Do you want to post just anything, or post something that helps someone else as well?
  • Share articles of interest to your followers throughout the day. Focus on the morning, though. Post your best content then and include a hashtag. That way, you’re more likely to be included in someone’s daily Twitter paper. Find one that you’d like to be in periodically and see when it publishes. Then post your best links at least an hour before it publishes. Catch all the time zones for your topic or industry, but find out the best times . You can schedule these ahead of time. So set aside an hour or so a week to research and find articles to tweet. Look for share-worthy content. Find content that others will want to RT: help make them look good to their followers. You can find all these and schedule tweets to go out automatically at a time and day you specify. So, are you going to tweet just anything, or find something of value that people can share or perhaps get you visibility in someone’s paper? Twitter, I think, benefits from daily work. This one is worth putting time into each day.

All Scenarios

If you are just randomly tossing information up on the web, you are wasting time, my friend. Be smart. Be strategic. Plan, analyze, and then plan some more. Then start implementing your strategy.

Finding Followers

Followers, of course, are everything. It’s what makes social social, after all. Keep in mind, though, that it’s one thing to set up an account on some social platform. It’s quite another to build an audience and following. Some people buy followers. Others build their accounts brick-by-brick, or use a combination of options.

Purchasing Followers

If considering whether or not to purchase large amounts of followers, I think you have to answer a basic question. On which do you focus: quantity or quality? I’ve heard and read time and again that Twitter accounts and Facebook pages with very high numbers of followers don’t necessarily do as well as those with smaller numbers. Why? Because the followers are honed in for that topic. Let’s use an example. One could, I suppose, follow a professional sports league Twitter account and Facebook page. But what if you’re a fan of just one team? What if you really just want to hear about that team and not the entire league? What if you’re a business trying to reach followers of just one team? In such a case, trying for the big-league follower counts might not make sense. Less can be more in social. It’s not just about the numbers. It’s about the audience.

So if you’re inclined to purchase followers in large amounts, just keep that in mind. Are you building a following for an entire sports league, or just one city? Quantity vs. quality.

It takes time to build a presence. So take the time. Become part of the community. Participate. That will result in more followers.

Purchasing Ads

You can purchase ads in social media platforms to increase followers. That’s different than purchasing followers.

Providing Valuable Content

This is what you want. Have people follow you because you rock! Find them interesting content. Provide information they can share with their own followers. Save them valuable time. This option takes time, but it’s the best way to build a presence, I think.

Don’t just frame a house. Fill it up and open the doors to all.

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