Utilizing Social Platforms for Professional Collaboration

This post originally appeared on CoffeeBreakUniversity.com

Working alone can have its advantages. For example, Casual Friday is every day when you work out of your own home! Also, you never have to wear headphones when you are in the zone and you want to crank up your favorite guilty pleasure band! But there are many downsides as well, among the worst is loneliness.

Not only can working alone cause you to go a bit stir crazy, but it can also lead to a loss of productivity, increased distractions, and eventually you can lose your creative edge.

One of the benefits of working in a team is the ability to collaborate, to share tools, ideas and the ability to bounce those ideas off a collection of individuals who will all have great and varied opinions.

So how do get valuable and necessary feedback when you’re flying solo? Below are a few ideas for neworking yourself and your business!

Meetup

Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.

Twitter

Believe it or not, Twitter can be a great tool for finding like minded professionals and creating a rapport with them on the topics your profession finds most interesting. Not only can you stay up to date on industry news and information, but you can connect with industry heavy weights, and share thoughts and content. Twitter hashes, when used properly can be a invaluable tool for finding others already discussing the topics you’re most interested in, or you can create your own.

LinkedIn

Linkedin is the place to be for business professionals looking to expand their network! Linkin allows you to find professionals in your area, as well as nationwide and to to share content with them in real time. You can also reconnect with past associates, colleagues, and classmates to see what they’re up to professionally and reinforce existing connections. Linkin has thousands of business pages and professional organizations that meet on their site to share relevant news and info, post job listings and more!

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Jump Start Your Social Media: Tips for Building a Great Facebook Page

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Depending on your niche as a professional service provider, creating and maintaining a Facebook page for your business can serve as an excellent resource for generating leads and building a reputation in both your community and your industry. However, it’s important to have a game plan when it comes to combining practice marketing and social media campaigns like these so that you don’t end up with an empty ghost town of a page with a handful of likes and no recent updates. Here’s some basic Facebook fan page tips to ensure that your page is engaging as possible and positioned to attract your ideal target audience.

Selecting Great Profile Photos

By default, Facebook automatically selects a few of the photos that you have posted to the wall of your fan page and features in a highly visible strip at the top of your page. Instead of random photos, Facebook also gives admins the option to select five top photos to be featured in this area. Take a moment to find some great pics that are relevant to your practices and brand, then delete the photos that you don’t want to feature by navigating to Photos => Select Photos.

Displaying Your Featured Likes

Selecting a few of your top Likes to feature on your practice’s Facebook fan page is a great way to draw attention to your other Facebook campaigns or some of your most important strategic partners. Featuring some thought leaders in your region or niche on your page is also a great way to get the attention of potential partners who might respond in kind by promoting you in their own social network. Simply click on Edit Page on your fan page, navigate to Featured => Edit Featured Likes and pick the accounts you would like to promote.

Revealing Your Page Owners

Let your potential fans see some of the faces behind your brand by activating the Page Owners display option for Facebook fan page. This feature simply shows the names and profile pics of the administrators of your fan page and is an element that every practice with a highly personalized brand needs to incorporate into their page. This element can be activated under the same Featured settings menu as Featured Likes.

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Avoiding the Social Media Marketing Time Suck

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social media marketingThe results are in. As an increasing number of professional services practices examine their social media conversion rates, they’re finding that this form of practice marketing delivers where it matters most and creates new business opportunities. They’re also finding something else: they’re spending way too much time on it.

The dreaded social media time suck has given comedy writers more fodder than a wet, hot, American sex scandal and wasted more time than Monday morning meetings. Let’s talk about how you can get what you want out of social media and practice marketing without draining your resources.

    • Commit to a Set Social Media Marketing Schedule: In some ways, social media marketing can turn into a time drain for the same reason email has created a reputation for tying up resources in so many resources. You know the score. Email box gets checked like an OCD patient’s stove top until you break the habit of bringing it up with every second habit. Multiply that across three or four bustling social media platforms, and you’ve got yourself a problem. Draw a line in the sand for your social media marketing campaign by setting a schedule to only update your accounts on certain days and times.

  • Pre-schedule Your Practice Marketing Updates with Third Party Apps: Third party apps like HootSuite, Seesmic and Tweetdeck all have features that allow you set scheduled posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for days or even weeks in advance. The learning curve on these apps is really very short, and using a single app for all of your social media marketing campaigns. I prefer to use Tweetdeck, partly just out of habit, but many professionals find that the additional features offered by HootSuite are a better fit for their needs.
  • Focus on Practice Marketing Campaigns that are Actually Effective: As obvious as it might sound to simply drop accounts that are obviously not delivering results, the truth of the matter is that we are creatures of habit and often slow to cut the cord. If you are obviously not getting any traction with a particular account or platform after 30 days, it’s time to either rework your approach or just move onto greener pastures.

With a little bit of focus and self control, it’s easy to keep all of your accounts updated and active without disappearing into a social media black hole. At any rate, please note that PracticeMarketing.org is a proud member of the Power Practice network. For a limited time, we’re allowing a free subscription the networks Success Tools program, which provides practice marketing professionals with a wide variety of short, timely articles and instruments to help you build your business. Take a moment to sign up now in the field provided above.

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