All social media is meant to be is an engagement between yourself and an audience. Picture yourself at a cocktail party with a room full of fantastic people. Some you know. Some you’ve never met. Obviously, your objective is to participate in a conversation with as many of those people as possible. The term is “engagement”.
Ok, here we go. You could immediately start off by shouting out your sales pitch (selling by yelling). You’re not wrong for wanting to let the entire cocktail party know about your project (what you’re selling), you simply need to be subtle about it. If you keep yelling people will begin tuning you out. Ignoring you. No audience = a failed message delivery.
In your particular case I would encourage you to begin with Twitter for these reasons:
- It is fast. Your message/engagement can begin right away. Sign-up for free and begin!
- You get immediate delivery. There is no delay between what you Tweet and the audience receiving it. (Most serious Tweeters have the conversation going all day.)
- Your message has a short shelf life. Each message is only ‘on-screen’ for a limited time. This affords you the opportunity to message with some frequency but with very little concern about repeating yourself or over exposure. Letting your audience know about an upcoming open house twice during a single day is probably a good example.
Now, you need to know who’s on Twitter and you’ll want to know who’s on Twitter in our area. Use a Twitter search with the Victoria hash tag: #yyj [ https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23yyj ].
These are the people you immediately want to begin following. By following them, you hope they will follow you thereby expanding your audience. It takes some time and work but get at it!
By building an audience (your Twibe – sick!) you can begin to engage them. Don’t start off with a sales pitch. Here’s a simple formula you can follow :
- Ask Questions – 30%: we all like to be asked questions as if we are the expert or if we have information to share. It makes us feel important. Remember, you’re trying to encourage participation.
- Be Useful – 30%: share information about the community, about topics you care about. These Tweets can be as useful as traffic reports (so popular!) at an intersection to avoid, an accident or whatever. Upcoming community events are also very useful and well-intended.
- Appear as an Expert – 20%: be generous when asked a question or volunteering expert information. Example: “Meta-data in webpages has little or no effect. Disagree? Let me have it.”
- Humour – 20%: never be anything but pleasant and humorous if you can.
I hope this information helps. I also hope it demonstrates the value of social media. This is just the start. Good luck!
 There are other ‘formulas’ for employing Twitter [ http://www.radarhill.com/presentations/benefits_social_media/5.html ]. These are only basic guides. Tinker. Find what works best for you.