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How Often Should I Update My Fans?

Was at a client’s office yesterday.

One of the key questions that she asked was this: how often do we need to update our fans who follow us on Facebook and our tweets on Twitter?

They said they were updating their Facebook statuses once every 3 days.

people-in-a-group

Was that enough to keep their fans and followers happy?

Now the thing with social media is this – and this is really our philosophy – update your fans/clients/customers/evangelists when you have something useful to say or share.

Take it one step further. If social media was a phone, would you be ringing up everyone just so you can share some inane thing?

Of course not.

Social media is not one-way radio broadcasting.

Social media is about being social though I don’t see it being very social these days.

Don’t Yell, Don’t Push

But I see lots of people consider it PUSH media. They push everything to everyone, not caring if that status update or tweet is moderately useful or not. Or if that message or status is helpful, worthy of being taken note of!

If you consider your fans as your true friends, would you spend all day annoying them with updates which are of no use?

It’s Not The Frequency!

It does not matter how frequent you update your status/page in Facebook or how many tweets you send out in Twitter.

What matters is what useful tips, ideas and concepts are you sharing with them?

If you have 10 useful ideas a day, then go ahead – share this. (But the better way is to space out your tweets and status updates so you are regularly seen as the idea expert.)

If you have only 1 useful idea a day, go ahead – you have every right to share it.

If you want to share personal details of your life (how pissed you are, how overjoyed you are) sure you can do it. It brings a very human face to your page/company. It shows you are human too and you are not some invincible super hero that fears nothing.

At the end of it all, what’s the big idea/goal about you being on Facebook and Twitter?

Take that big idea and ask if your updates help you achieve that big idea (or goal).

It’s not about being hip. It’s about reaching out, widening your sphere of influence and connecting with people who may not know much about you. Social media gives you access to people and you need to know what people want and supply this to them.

How Can I Use Social Media?

what is social media all about

Many businesses are quickly taking advantage of social media by going onto Facebook and Twitter.

Maybe they’re doing that so they won’t be left behind.

Or look like fuddy-duddies or dinosaurs from the last Jurassic Age.

But there are also lots of people who refuse to go online. They fear everything.

And there are also people who just want you to agree with them that social media is a waste of time.

I say, it depends.

But if you’re not a teenager, why would you want to be on Facebook?

Oh did you hear that Facebook is the MOST accessed website the world over? How did Facebook grow so large when MySpace was just getting by?

Because the age group of the people who use Facebook, I believe. MySpace, to me, is still that kind of place where teens and tweens hang out. It’s not taken very seriously (or then again I could be wrong and if I am, someone please tell me so). Or it could be that the layout of MySpace felt a little less professional.

If it is really about working adults using Facebook, how about social networks like Ryze which existed way back in 2004? Why didn’t it explode exponentially like Facebook? Was it a matter of timing, being there at the right place and at the right time? Or the right apps?

I still am unsure.

But, how can you use social media is the biggest question.

How can you use social media to help you?

Then I say, you have to read this post on the real ROI of social media. Social media is a method of open communication. Which is sometimes scary to lots of people, especially people who want to be in control of what is said and how it’s said. Especially company communication.

(You can read what I wrote about PR companies and also this post which points you to a helpful article on how to market your business on Facebook).

But building relationships with your customers and evangelists take time. Even with social media. You don’t just go and tweet once a week and expect a deluge of business. Just like you don’t expect anything out of a first date.

But that’s the whole point really.

Social media is not that magic button cure-all. It’s still about me, you and communication.

Just as it used to be with smoke signals and Morse code.

So go ahead and find out how social media can help you. (By the way, did you know that blogging is also social media?)

Making Them Love You (And Buy Your Products)

Read this excellent article on Dosh Dosh just today. (By the way, we were travelling the past couple of days. Had a great time in KL – a brief break to visit friends hence the brief silence on the blog.)

A friend whom I am working with on a hush-hush project (well, hush hush until she gives the green light to publicize it, that is) emailed this over and I thought it was too good to keep to myself.

[I will definitely shout it out loud when she gives me the OK to talk about it. Until then, we are 14 people spanning 5 continents in different timezones working on a very worthwhile cause. When I say, very, it's true. This could be one of the largest and most meaningful projects I have ever worked on.]

Anyway back to today’s post.

Everyone wants to know what the heck social media marketing is. Is it the new flavour of the month? What can I, the small business person, do with all this Twitter, Youtube, MySpace etc? Do I sign up for every damn social media platform and go at it till I go green in the gills?

And why is it that Dell, that megacomputer company, has 100K followers on Twitter? (Answer: The best Dell deals are only on Twitter.)

Or why teenage millionaires pop up overnight? (Not exactly overnight but you know, they do get rich. And it’s not a fairy tale either. Maybe that’s why lots of people fall for the get-me-rich schemes.)

Anyway, read the Dosh Dosh article on what makes for a powerful longterm social media strategy.

Powerful stuff!

Other helpful posts:

13 things you need to know about promoting your biz online
Consider using Twitter for publicizing your business?

Also if you are a non-profit, see how other non-profits are using Twitter.