One useful tool is something to read the pasts regularly identifying the keywords you should be using in your own posts to improve discoverability and also identify opportunities to respond to suitable comments.
There is also of course the important work of defending your reputation when something less than complimentary is said. Many tools claim to do the job and it will come as no surprise that many of these tools will, for a price, do the whole thing including entering comments. Just in case you are in doubt I would caution strongly against any sort of automated posting activity unless you are very experienced. You can, with experience schedule certain types of post a few days in advance, you could even automate the liking of posts form certain individuals and with caution you could view the profiles of people on LinkedIn automatically to improve engagement, but the biggest advantage of social media is being able to read posts and provide intelligent responses that add value and at the same time get your message across.
1. The risk of doing harm is always a substantial factor when dealing with any form of PR and this is why the most successful have a PR agency and even surrender their twitter accounts. I’m sure you can think of one or two people immediately.
2. Although a PR agency will segment quite deeply, there is a simple division everyone can do, some call them the thoughtless and thoughtful, or “LESS” and “FULL”. The “Full” are intelligent people like yourself who occasionally have an interesting thought and take part in a conversation and of course the PR, Journalism and Politics brigade. This sadly makes up a small portion of the whole. The remainder or the “LESS” are made up of the lazy, the half-wits, bots and all the other evils that constitute social media. To use a phrase from literature,
“If you wrestle with a pig you end up filthy and the pig loves it”.
I hope you got the message. Stay away form the LESS and put your best foot forward with the FULL, but whatever you do don’t treat them all the same.
You must know who you are talking to and what their game is if any.
3. When someone else, a member of the FULL decides to engage with you, they will most likely assemble a sample of recent utterings and make a judgement on the basis of who you talked to and what you said. Do you really want this to look like a visit to the “moshpit”.
4. Potential customers, employees and employers frequently trawl Social Media before engaging with you for the first time. The majority have very powerful tools to do this work for them. You need to feel confident that anything unpleasant has been dealt with correctly and there is a selection of positive sentiment to support you.
What most people would settle for from social media.
Many sensible folk would settle for a blank page and it’s not such a bad idea if you can afford that.
For the majority of us we would like to see something that would not embarrass our mothers or children depending where we are in the great journey.
This means you may need to be active, but the upside is that Bots are not making judgements other than by ranking figures, etc.
For those of us wanting to gain from search engines we need one of the above plus a series of positive mentions by respected others and ideally accompanied at times by a link to one of our web pages that is contextually in keeping with the discussion where the link is placed. This latter is somewhat trickier and naturally there is more to it and there are rules you need to be aware of and these rules change without warning and there are penalties.
One of the challenges is to separate your own personal use of media from your business use and that is often impossible, or difficult, but you can often use different accounts and always be cautious. It’s worth remembering though that if you engage in this game of “Personality Selling” you forfeit your rights. For those who of us who dislike this approach there is the tried and tested approach of using advertising to drive enquiries and a good deal to close business. Personally I prefer this old fashioned approach, but the platforms are making it tougher due to interconnection to control anything, so be warned and be prepared.
If you are hell bent on doing this yourself, there’s plenty of tutorials around the web, but again I would advise that you do make sure it is very recent, build yourself a summary from reading quite a few and, these rules change on a weekly basis and some of these changes are significant, so be prepared to stay up to date. Furthermore, as you may have heard me say previously, the web is crammed full of how-to articles stolen and spun form somewhere else, often by Black Hat SEO or part-time affiliates and many are dangerously inaccurate. Be warned.