Monday, September 13, 2010

Effective Status Updates

The first time I went on Twitter, I was like, "This is it? I don't get it."

It soon became clear that one of the Internet's most powerful social media tools is your status updates. On most social networks, your friends' status updates are the first thing you see. You can quickly browse over them to get caught up with everybody, and easily make comments wherever you want to throw in your two cents.

To reverse this, your online friends, associates and other contacts, are always exposed to your status updates. It is impossible to avoid them unless you are one of those anti-social-networking freaks. (just saying)

Given the importance of your status updates, the question then becomes: How do you make your updates effective and focused on your business?

Here's three simple rules to follow:
  1. Personalized: Wherever you can, add your own personalized flavour to your posts. Keep your personality, wit, and sense of humour.
  2. Interesting or helpful: Add your own expertise and advice, tips and tricks (for free!).
  3. Personal/professional ratio of 4/1: You are encouraged to update your status at least every 24 hours. This leaves lots of room for personal posts and professional posts. I'd suggest that you post 4 personal posts to every 1 professional business post. This will keep people interested in following your status and then when you sneak in a business advertisement, people will appreciate it, not be overloaded by them. They will also be sure to read them because they genuinely want to know what you are up to as a person like them.
Examples of a personal post:
  • camping was rained out this weekend!
  • late driving the kids to school again :(
  • on my 5th cup of coffee and it's only 7 am, lol
This establishes you as a real person and other people have been there and can relate to those posts. It might put a smile on your friends' faces and they won't be able to resist commenting.

Now... mix up your personal posts with a professional/business plug. For example, after I'm done writing this blog article, I will post the topic and link in my status updates, thereby reminding people of my business and expertise.

Good examples of a business/professional post:
A really successful business/professional post contains an element of humour that makes people laugh. They will remember laughing and they will remember you.

So now you have no excuses. Just accept how important updating your status is to your professional/business, as well to you on a personal level. Make it part of your daily routine like taking your vitamins.

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