You know you have to be using social media to achieve success, but you may not have a clue how to get started! It’s can be confusing to get started, but if you remember that it is just networking on steroids and follow these few simple steps you will be off to a great start!
Before you start on any social networks, you need to know a few things to do it properly, so answer these questions before getting started:
1) What do you hope to accomplish from your social media efforts?
Let’s face it, we all want to make more money, but with social media you have to be very patient to get to the money making part. It takes time and energy to get to that point. Until then, what do you want to accomplish? Do you want to build brand awareness? Connect with existing customers in a new way? Offer better customer service? Grow your network through meeting new people? Really take the time to figure out what else you can get from your time on social media while working on the money part.
2) How much time do you have to spend on your social media efforts in a week?
Are you prepared to make the commitment required to see this work for you? The more time you are able to put in, the quicker your results will come. You can accomplish a lot in 15 – 30 minutes a day. Do you have the time in your schedule to do this, or do you have a staff member who will take this over for you? And be really honest here, there is no point in saying you will work on it for an hour a day if you really can’t do that. Pick a reasonable amount of time and stick with it.
3) Figure out what networks you are going to focus on.
There are so many networks you could not possibly run all of them very well. And what’s the point if you aren’t going to do it well? So pick one to get started with and focus on building your connections and relationships there. You can’t just randomly pick a network though; you have to know where your current clients are spending their time so you can focus on the network that will get you the most traction quickly. How do you find out where your current clients are? Poll them, email them, send out a newsletter to ask them, have a questionnaire at your cash register for them to complete. There are lots of ways to find out Just do it. Once you know where your current clients are you’ll likely find new clients there as well.
4) Plan what content you want to share with your readers.
Know what you are going to say, at least roughly, before you start up your account. Get a sense of what information your clients – new and old – want to hear from you. Aim for sharing great content that expands their thoughts of you. So, if you are a printing company wanting to connect with clients on Facebook, don’t just post about your printing specials or your equipment or even just industry news, share tips on how to get the most out of the new batch of cards they just got, how to network effectively, how to write great copy for newsletters and more. You get the idea; really brainstorm all possible avenues you can access to offer a wide range of valuable information to your clients. This will make you very memorable in their minds and position you as a source of reliable, important information.
Now you might be expecting my #5 here to be, get out there and start your accounts and start posting! But hold your horses, it’s not quite that simple… yet! Bear with me. Watch for my second post here on your next steps to Social Media Success – Starting out.
Sherri-Lee Pressman is Your Social Media Minder, helping business owners use Facebook and Twitter to grow their businesses. She is a Social Media strategist, educator, speaker and coach. She lives near Vancouver BC, Canada with her two kids, one crazy cat and an even crazier puppy.