Diving into the social media pool can be confusing and intimidating. Where do you start? Which social media tools are right for your business or organization? Once you decide where to communicate, how do you develop your content and visual material?
We’ve put together a list of basics we hope will help you get started. It was adapted from an article by Gunelius, 2010 to fit the needs of Clear Elevation’s clients.
We offer social media strategizing and coaching. Call us at 260.673.5310 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s our list!
Social Media – Getting Started
Like anything, a business or organization needs to set goals for social media usage first. Why are you involved in social media? In which ways will you use it? Will you use it to boost sales? To generate more leads? To market specific products/services? To directly sell products/services? Your answers to these questions will help narrow your focus.
- Know your target audience. Does your target market spend much time online? If so, doing what? What types of information will your target market find useful? What types do they dislike? Be sure to fully evaluate their preferences in order to better formulate the message.
- Evaluate your resources. Who is going to initiate and persist in updating your social media messages? Do you have someone on your team who is a strong communicator? Do you have the technological ability to maintain your social media accounts?
- Create quality content. What is it, exactly, that will draw your audience to you? Even unrelated to your specific business, what types of tips, stories, advice, or helpful news can you provide to your customers/audience? Remember – social media is about relationships. Your audience wants to know that you care about their concerns and needs.
- Cross-promote. All of your website and social media efforts should feed off each other and integrate nicely. You should also make sure your offline marketing efforts integrate with your online marketing efforts.
- Create a schedule. Set aside specific times during the day/week to update your social media messages.
- Use interesting pictures, visual content. People are naturally attracted to visual images. Any time you have a chance to post pictures and/or video related to the topic you are addressing, do so!
- Give up control. Ultimately, you want your audience to drive the online conversation. If you see them guiding the conversation into a specific topic, make sure you follow them there instead of dragging them back to your own focus.
- It’s about quality, not quantity. It doesn’t do much good to have 5,000 likes on facebook, and only have 500 of them interested in your business. Therefore, focus on the quality of your followers/fans, not the quantity.
- Keep learning. Social media is always evolving. Listen and watch. Observe and act.