For those of you that would like to get started with social media – or if you’d like to brush up, here’s some information that might help. Remember you don’t need to go crazy, just find a one or two social networks to start with.
Which social networks?
The social media networks which make the most sense for your business are the ones that your customers use… Try and find out which ones they use, by visiting their websites or profiles, or just ask them… Some social media platforms are more effective for certain types of businesses. e.g. If you sell fashion items or furniture then pinterest might be a good start, if you produce videos or music then youtube is probably more suitable. It’s best not to go too wide either, instead of signing up to every social network you can think of, just pick one or two. It’s much better to do one social media network and do it well, rather than 10 done poorly.
You need to take your profile seriously, don’t just fill out the required fields – you should include keywords that are relevant to your profession, so that they can find you! The search engines will pick up on those keywords, and don’t be afraid to include a link in there as well. Here’s one that is professional, personable and interesting, and don’t forget to use a good photo, a simple head shot is best.
Right – you’ve selected your social media network, now what?
Learn how to use that network, figure out it’s features – ask google, there will be tutorials, ebooks, guides and blogs to help you.
Follow others, start with people you know, and customers. Social media influencers, and industry experts are also good.
Observe how others do it, and learn from them. Figure out the best practices and etiquette, there are resources online to help with this too.
Share others content, retweet, or re-share, like their posts etc. It’s a good way to build relationships via social media. Comment on updates and articles, be part of the conversation, that’s what social media is all about! Ask a few questions, agree/disagree, say thankyou.
Join Groups – most social media networks have groups, it’s a way to interact with like minded people, share and gain information and support.
Don’t pitch – don’t try the hard sell too much, give advice etc. Promoting an event, new product etc is all good – you just need to strike a balance so you don’t put people off.
Don’t forget to promote your social media profile on business cards, websites, email signatures, newsletters, advertising, and other social networks – it’s no good having a great social network presence and not sharing it. Have some fun with your social media network as well, don’t be too serious – write as you would speak and be authentic. Social media is a friendly place.