15 Ways Moms Can Use Social Media (Part 3 of 3)


Modern RejectAfter talking the past two days about ways you can use social media in your personal life and supporting your hobbies and interests, today we’ll talk about creative ways moms like us can use social media in our professional and business capacities.

If you want to set yourself apart in the professional or business realm, it would be wise to jump on the social networking and social media bandwagon, as it provides many advantages and opportunities for you, your customers, and your business as a whole. Here are 5 such methods.

1. Expand your network.

This is an obvious one, yes, but wow can it make a huge difference. The more people you know, the more business, or contacts, or interest you can create. LinkedIn, for example, claims that it “strengthens and extends your existing network of trusted contacts.” Sounds good, right? Join LinkedIn if you haven’t already. It really is a powerful resource for business-minded folks.

In my first post of this series, I addressed using social media in your personal life. Well, those  methods still apply here, as well. Use Twitter, for example, to expand your network and find new potential contacts, peers, and opportunities.

2. Discover better opportunities.

Social networking and social media can help you find a job, a better job, freelance work, or whatever else you may be looking for. There is an endless number of ways to connect and seek out better professional opportunities.

Along those lines, we’ve all heard it said: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Gaining personal introductions through someone you already have relationship with will increase your chances or business success. Use your social network to branch out and take advantage of those connections. LinkedIn, as an example, tells “how many connections” you are away from people. Facebook, too, shows how many mutual friends you share and might just lead to the right in with that great gig.

If you’re in the market for a new job, here’s another good article from Mashable discussing other ways to use social networking to your advantage in the job market

3. Demonstrate your expertise.

If you want people to know how great you are and that you know what you’re talking about backwards and forwards, don’t just talk about it–show them! Start a blog discussing your business or niche, tweet out relevant links on your particular area of expertise, and collaborate and communicate with others in the field.

Perhaps the best method to demonstrate your true expertise is through blogging it up! If you don’t already have a business related blog, consider starting one. It is an excellent way to share your expertise with others in your peer group, as well as to new and potential clients or customers. Use your blog (or microblog) to market your personal brand. Inject your personality, interests, and unique voice into your blog, as well. People are not just buying your service or product. They are also buying you!

To stay informed and competitive, you probably want to subscribe to blogs discussing your profession or business, even if those are your competitors! A few ways to do this: find a few blogs in your areas of expertise and check those blogs’ blogrolls. A blog roll is a list bloggers display on their site showing the blogs they themselves read. Also, try Alltop or Technorati and search within their blog categories to find your professional vertical. You can then subscribe to their blogs via RSS to make sure you are consistently reading up on various news and opinions. Google Reader is a great option to house your new stream of blogs and keep that information organized.

Google Reader for Moms

Last but not least, if you happen to be a documentation and presentation Jedi, post great decks (a.k.a. PPTs) and reports that you’ve created on sites like Docstoc, SlideShare, and Scribd. Show off those mad skillz! Others will take notice!

4. Build morale and improve communication.

Whether you have a team of 3 or a team of 30, social networking and social media outlets can help encourage greater communication across your organization or business. When people receive better communication from you, they can communicate better across the board.

Try Yammer, it’s like Twitter for teams and organizations. It allows you to better communicate within your organization, keeping vision and ongoing conversation flowing—and that’s a beautiful thing.

5. Impress your customers.

And while we’re on the Twitter horn, let’s talk about how it serves as a great way for your customers to communicate quickly and effectively with you. Did you get that new item in the store? What are you business hours? How can they contact you directly? Twitter truly can allow you to be a bit of a superwoman, fast and powerful, and who doesn’t like that?

Watch what people are saying about you on Twitter Search and respond back quickly. Your customers will be more than impressed. Often times, their satisfaction turns into a positive word of mouth (WOM) referral to their networks for you, along the way. Talk about a win-win!

Another way to keep your ear to the ground is by signing up for Google Alerts, and monitoring social media activity around your company and service name (and hint: even your competitors). You can stay on top of any conversation surrounding your business.

Last but not least, if you’re looking for a way to give your customers greater satisfaction and keep lines of communication more open and transparent, check out services like the aptly named GetSatisfaction and UserVoice. Both allow you to respond to customers quickly and effectively. Happier customers = happier you.

Bonus Points: Lock down your brand.

One great way to make sure your business name or professional name is being branded and marketed within the social media network is to use a site like Namechk. This site allows you to quickly check numerous social media sites to see if your name is available. This is a good way to build “link juice” to your company or personal brand’s website, not to mention the peace of mind it provides in knowing that you’re controlling your brand name more effectively.

Modern Reject

I hate goodbyes.

There are hundreds more ways to use social media in your personal, interest-related, and professional areas of life, but hopefully these 3 posts have provided you with some helpful tips, hints, and ideas. If you’re feeling a bit intimidated by it all, I would encourage you to start small–a tweet here, a blog post there. Or, if you’ve already mastered Facebook and Twitter, try branching out. Perhaps Yammer, Foursquare, Vimeo, GetSatisfaction, and Blippy may be just what you need. One thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. Women can come along for the ride or get left in the proverbial dust. But, with so many reasons to use social media, getting left behind shouldn’t be an option. So, go ahead, be social. You’ll be glad you did.

Do you have any social media questions? Wondering how to get started or what is the best plan of attack for your business, cause, or group? Ask me in the comments section and I would love to help!


Modern Reject
Nicole Cottrell is a daily blogger, mom of two little munchkins, and married to her soul mate (so cheesy). She lives in Scottsdale and confesses to once hating Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Now she uses them daily, thanks to her blog, Modern Reject, where she writes about culture, dying daily, love, and the unpopular stuff no one else likes to talk about. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook. She promises to be your BFF.