There are ways to use some social networking sites to your advantage in marketing your practice. So how do you decide? Ask yourself these questions:
Who is my ideal client? Is this client a business or an individual? What do I know about this ideal client?
Are my ideal clients likely to try to connect with me on this social networking site? Run the list: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
Identify the social networking sites that seem to offer the best opportunity to connect with and build relationship with your ideal client and that use the medium (text, pictures, video, etc.) that seems to be a logical way to provide value and relationship.
Focus on the social media sites that are a fit for you. If you are not comfortable with them you will not stay with them in the long term. Without a long term commitment you will not be able to be successful.
Then focus only on the one or two that offer the greatest potential for practice growth.
As a provider of professional services, you are very likely to find LinkedIn at or near the top of your list. There is a book out by Lewis Howes and Frank Agin about using LinkedIn effectively: Linked Working: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website (available from Amazon.com and bookstores elsewhere).
If you are inclined to provide information, instruction or insight on matters related to your business and of interest to your clients, you might find it useful to post video clips on YouTube. This can be a helpful way to direct people to your web site.
If you have a group of followers who are interested in helpful information, you might want a judiciously used Twitter account. Don’t load up your account with the fact that you are doing an audit or a tax return; do tweet about new insights, discoveries, accomplishments, etc. Focus your tweets on more substantial matters.By focusing your social networking and using each site wisely and judiciously, you can avoid the trap of having your time swallowed up by social media while taking advantage of the benefits offered by each of the most appropriate sites. Being smart about social media is about limiting your time commitment, focusing your efforts on sites expected to bring the biggest return and keep your posts meaningful and valuable to your ideal and current clients. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the messaging that works for your business.