Copyblogger is running advice on putting together the “ultimate marketing plan” from the man they call one of the world’s highest paid copywriters. A day or so ago the same site carried a slightly finger-wagging post about how much fantastic professional advice is sitting online, read once but never acted on. I’m certainly guilty of spotting great stuff, inwardly muttering that I’ll do something about using it one of these days, filing it in my “great stuff” folder and never looking at it again. But no more. As the man said, if I’d paid for this advice from a consultant I’d be doing everything I could to squeeze the last drop of value out of it, so I’m going to blow the dust off the folder and get cracking on sharpening up the plan for the business. So, as a start, here are four basic tips for maximising the use of LinkedIn and Facebook as shop-windows for your business, and one suggestion for managing what could be a time-swallowing commitment to social networks - gathered here, here, here and here…
1. The value of LinkedIn is in direct relation to the size of your network. Maximise your potential connections by keeping a link to your profile as part of your email signature.
2. Use your presence on the network to showcase your expertise – join relevant groups, comment on (and start) discussion threads, answer questions
3. Use the search facility in LinkedIn to check out potential clients/employers to see if you can get any useful information about them from elsewhere in your network
4. Publish your content – you can set it up for blog posts to be posted automatically to your LinkedIn and/or Facebook profile, for example
5. Estimate how long you have to spend in a week in keeping up a presence online and plan out the content you want to post in advance. The suggestion is to take half an hour a week in writing up “helpful tips” and then scheduling it to be published. This seems both more mechanical and more perfunctory than I feel comfortable with, but certainly more structure would probably mean fewer gaps in between posts.