How To Get Started Using Social Media

Where To Start? 

You need to decide which social network is best for your business – It is my personal opinion that you need to be where your customers are and with all the statistics we have today, you know without a shadow of a doubt most of them are on Facebook at some point in every week. Facebook is estimated to hit one billion active users by August 2012….An absolutely huge number of people sitting in the comfort of their home or office for you to reach.

The fastest growing demographic in social media today are women over the age of 55………. You will want to be where those people are, keeping your business top of mind. (They are not visiting your website once a day)

Something to remember: “We hate to be sold to – but love to buy!”

Twitter might be the best option depending on what your business is – Twitter is instant messaging keeping everyone that follows you current. While Blogging gives you rich material to post on all your social sites and sets you miles apart from anyone – as an author you come across as the authority on any subject you are writing about…and if you have been in business for any amount of time I’m sure you know a thing or two you could share.

OK You’ve Decided

Once you pick your network, take some time to write down what your message is and how you are going to market to your audience. Write out at least twenty different ideas of content you could share. If you work in a team environment get everyone together for a brain storming session.

Examples might be:

  • Tip of the day
  • Important updates
  • Deal of the week
  • Value added message
  • Quotes
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Blogs and links

Once you know the direction you want to head, take it easy on yourself and slowly begin using your new tools…social media takes time to get you into the groove. There is no hurry. Do not think that just by opening an account you will be successful. You must learn how to actively participate and engage with your new marketing vehicle. It takes time to grow your community. I know how overwhelming social media can be, there is a lot of noise on the internet and you might even feel a little intimidated. Never feel pressured into doing anything you are not ready for, with social media it is not about the number of followers you have, it’s about the quality of the people following you that counts.

Make sure you dedicate a useful amount of time to the following areas:

  • 15 -30 minutes of posting and engaging once or twice a day
  • Follow blogs and videos on your new network (Twitter – Facebook) Heather-Clifford’s Blog on Social Media
  • Take a few courses – spread them out
  • Listen to your followers
  • Research different ways of adding content
  • Do a survey from your customers on their social media activities
  • Helping others is the easiest way to learn social media

Meet monthly with a mentor group and bring in a social media speaker

One Little Step At A Time

Spend a good amount of time learning your new tool for marketing and staying top of mind with your following before you introduce the next tool, and when you do pick up your next social media tool, figure out how to use both with one click - Every social media tool is different but they can over-lap and coexist nicely with one another.

I like to say six months to social media success with one new network every sixty days…

Keeping Track 

With all this exciting new activity you’re doing don’t forget to check, measure and analyze your efforts through the many social analytic sites available. Excellent SlideShare Presentation

In the end the Return On Your Investment needs to be clear – measuring your customers and loyal following is just one way to know social media is for you…

Heather lives in beautiful Nanaimo and teaches hands on social media clinics all around BC – Bridging the distance that some people have with technology!

Cheers!


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