Would You Start Driving a Car Without Learning How to Drive?

Most sensible people would agree that a person has to learn how to drive before being allowed to have a driver’s license and actually drive.

While anyone can start using social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for promoting a business, it would seem reasonable to understand that there are things to learn about using these platforms effectively.

I sometimes see a person whose LinkedIn personal profile (you know, the one listed under PEOPLE) is in the name of the company, which is in violation of LinkedIn’s terms. On the other hand, you can have a LinkedIn company listing under COMPANIES after you’ve set up a personal profile (if you have a professional email address).

More frequently I see someone whose Facebook personal profile is in the name of the company, which is in violation of Facebook’s terms. (See http://budurl.com/readFBterms ) Instead, you should have a Facebook Page (formerly a fan page – now a Page that people “like”) to use for your business.

Thanks to the concept that social media is about sharing and not selling, there are tons of free information sources as well as tons of fairly priced information sources. You should take advantage of the available information to optimize your use of social media to promote your business.

Blogging, of course, is a very effective way to establish your reputation. And yet I frequently see websites/blogs that do not have even basic SEO (search engine optimization) in place. These bloggers are writing good post after good post but the search engines aren’t finding the content.

It’s great that the barriers to entry for blogging and using social media are so low. But sometimes, when entry is so easy, this is misleading for people who would like to use these tools effectively to get in front of their target markets.

Photo of boy reading with globe

How to start learning more?

Click through on the links of people you follow on Twitter or who you are connected to on Facebook and LinkedIn to check out the content they are sharing. If it is something that could help you, take the time to read the material and then implement the technique if it makes sense for you.

Of course there’s not enough time to read and implement everything. But do try to learn a couple of new things each week so that, over time, your knowledge of social media and blogging best practices increases.

© 2011 Miller Mosaic, LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of Miller Mosaic Social Media Marketing. Download the company’s free report “5 Tips for Staying Top of Mind With Your Prospective Target Markets” at www.millermosaicllc.com/los-angeles-social-media-consultant and read the company blog at www.MillerMosaicSocialMediaMarketing.com