Social Media for Busy People

Jumping into Social Media to many people feels like diving head first into the deep end without knowing how to swim. They feel like if they bite the bullet they have to all of a sudden create a Facebook account and say good-bye to a few more hours a week looking at pictures of a dead deer shot by their 3rd cousin or read about a neighbor’s vacation to the Bahamas. While this could be your plight, it doesn’t have to be, nor should it be. Here are some quick tips to try your hand at a few different aspects of Social Media geared for busy professionals.

Bring the web to you: Google Reader

What if a newspaper dropped on your doorstep every morning with news tailored just for you? No more throwing away this and that section or going straight to Sports or the Business section.  Instead everything is relevant and hand picked. This is Google Reader in a nutshell. It’s simple to set up and all you need is a Gmail account. It uses something called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology that pulls info as it’s released/updated across the web on the sites you want to follow and/or news you want to be privy of.

Other RSS Reader option:
Microsoft Outlook

Read smart people: Blogs

If you could be a fly on the wall, listening into someone’s thoughts, who would that someone be? For me, it’s Mark Cuban. I really, really like what he has to say and when he speaks, I listen (doesn’t mean I heed all of it). Lucky enough for me, he has a blog where he talks about a variety of issues that I value – economy, sports management, start-up business, etc. While not everyone is a fan of Mark Cuban, I think you get the point I am trying to make – why wouldn’t I read insights from someone whose thoughts I value on a particular subject matter? Blogs are an easy entrance into Social Media by way of being a spectator and, in combination with the RSS technology mentioned above (Google Reader or like tool), it’s super efficient.

Many thought leaders in various fields have a place where they go and freely share their thoughts.

Some blogs I read that you may also like:
Mark Cuban
Harvard Business Review
Rita Keller, Firm Management 
Michelle Golden,  Firm Marketing & Sales
The Progressive Accountant

An excuse to say ‘Hi’: LinkedIN

Any good business development person breaks the token sales rule – ABC – Always Be Closing. They follow a different rule – ABB – Always Be Building. LinkedIN is a perfect tool for building a relationship with someone over time. How? Conversations are the key to business development, and LinkedIN, if used correctly, is a conversation starter for professionals. One tip is to stop carrying business cards and instead immediately Link-IN with the people you meet via your smart phone. While this doesn’t fly if you are doing business in Asia, for example, it can fly here. This gives you a much easier way to contact people as well as expose them to a stream of information coming from your profile. All it takes to set up a profile is 20 concentrated minutes while at home in between a house project or your favorite sitcom.

Never take your spouse on a bad date ever again: Yelp

So, Yelp isn’t as much about business decisions as it is about good life decisions. It’s also a good taste (pun intended) regarding the power of Social Media. Basically, whether you’re in your hometown or in a new location, the surest way to find a good local food joint or watering hole is via Yelp. It finds places of interest based on user reviews and clues you in on on do’s and don’t’s of that particular establishment. It can even be used to find a good mechanic, park, or hotel – but it’s best known for restaurants.

Example searches:
Atlanta Coffee
Houston Restaurants
Berkeley, CA Restaurants

Listen in to niche topic conversations of interest: Twitter

Listen before you speak. It’s a great rule in general and can also be applied to Twitter as a way to get involved. Twitter is a conversation and ‘news’ curator of sorts. ‘News’ being defined by whatever you deem relevant to you.  So in my case, I listen to industry consultants, my favorite sports team insiders, companies I want to know more about, and friends/family I want to stay in touch with. Listen to whomever you like and, if someone gets annoying, just un-follow them.

Wanna waste time? Facebook

Frankly, I think Facebook is a huge waste of time for 98.7% of the people on it. This goes for myself (I am now off), my wife, friends, and most of the people I know. I wear this emotion on my sleeve and tick off most of the ‘social media savvy’ folks I know with it. Frankly, Facebook hasn’t converted to be a good business tool for B2B professional service brands thus has not demanded my attention. While I do advise CPA firms to have a ‘page’ for presence purposes, I don’t advise many to spend time or money on it. There are two caveats to my thinking:

  • It can bring value from a recruiting perspective or
  • If you are a small firm looking to entrench yourself with your clients’ personal as well as professional lives.

2 thoughts on “Social Media for Busy People”

  1. Two things:
    1) Facebook can be a waste of time, but not always (for consumers)
    2) Facebook is incredibly powerful (for producers)

    From the consumer side of things, there is little difference between Twitter / Facebook; meaning – I think they BOTH have potential to be a large waste of time. Yes, for most people they are huge time sucks.

    But Facebook also provides some amazing efficiencies (e.g. private groups, 1 click sign-on, sharing info with friends/family). Email is a terrible medium for some these things and Facebook makes it easier.

    From the B2C side of things, I can’t think of a better way to connect / advertise to your demographic. The is absolutely no ad platform on earth that holds a candle to Facebook. From what I’ve seen, the ROI is 8-10x of Google or LinkedIn.*

    *heavily depends upon the product and market. as always ymmv.

    1. Agree….I tend to think in B2B terms + a complex selling environment. Actually drafted this article for CPA firms to read and stick by FB being a waste for time minus Hr purposes (for now).

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