Getting Started with Social Media? Beginners Tips for Small Businesses - PART I
This is Part I of a 2 part article on getting started right and planning your social media marketing. Knowing what is needed before you begin, sets up for success. Be ready to grow!
Start Small, Build Big!
Many business owners are perplexed about this “social media thing”. They know they need it but are so established in the “traditional” forms of advertising, that they aren’t seeing the “tree for the forest”, or the value of how social media works for businesses in this world of seemingly “meaningless chatter” on the social networks. They want to give it a try, but they aren’t ready to invest their hard earned money into it yet.
If you are one of these businesses social media newbies, wanting to give it a try, this article will get your social media program up and running, and giving you practice in how to engage safely, without putting your business at risk. It is always a good idea to hook with a professional social media manager/coach to learn the mindset of this marketing strategy.
Have a strategy or this won’t work! – See a good business strategy outlined at the end of Part II.
- Pick only one social media platform if you are brand new to social media.
- Brand your Fan Page with a photo banner that Brands YOU or your business. Have several options to change out periodically. Your personal picture should stay the same, it should be of you, not a logo. People like to see the face of who they are interacting with.
- Create a Facebook Profile and Facebook Business Page.
- Consider going to Facebook first, and invite your email contacts to connect with you on both your profile site and your business page. Do this every 3-4 months to connect new faces with you.
- Find topics related to your niche/business, like where you would go to read the news you like and where your prospective clients might like. Search them out on Facebook and connect with a Friend or a LIKE. If a Friend invite them to your Business Page too.
- Find a competitors Facebook site and see who they are connecting with and then go and connect with that Facebook page too. Observe if you competitor’s page has lots of conversation. Note how that conversation got started.
- Go to your Friends or Business connected Fan Pages and comment there, on THEIR site. After a few visits, invite them over to your Facebook page and LIKE it.
- Are you growing your Fan Page LIKEs with at least 2-3 a week then you can begin with the next step.
Twitter the Highlights of YOUR Business
- Again, brand your Twitter site with a consistent branded design, similar to your website and/or Facebook Fan Page.
- Twitter is fast moving and is quickly out of mind or if they blink, it is gone! Know that to engage on Twitter you must be frequent and responsive to other tweets!
- Find someone interesting in your niche? Start following that person’s followers. These people are your prospects. They are the perfect candidates for your community.
- Use the # – Hashtag system to find Twitter Chats about subjects where your expertise can shine or your customers will be participating in. #tweettips
- Participate in conversation on Twitter that are with folks that seem influential on Twitter. Use tools like SocialOomph.com or ManageTwitter.com to locate those people.
- Be assured that quality people to follow or follow you is better than having LOTS of Twitter followers just for the numbers. If you see that they don’t follow you back or they don’t have conversations with you or anyone else, UNfollow them. You probably with gain more followers, surprisingly. True – that’s how it works!
- You may find your conversations are more engaging on certain times of the day, depending on who your audience is. If it is Moms then you may have the daytime. If it is businesses, 8-5 on week days. Dads, consider evenings around 5-7 pm. Be aware of what is working for you.
- Be real on your posts. Be human. Share what you are doing or what inspired you or what lessons of the day were. Share your business adventures too, but don’t sell! Be your audiences’ expert! Be the “go-to person”.
- Don’t sell! Save that call to action (CTA) to your website! If your Twitter followers take your CTA seriously, and go to your website, you will be ready with a QUALITY lead! It will be OK to ask them to buy.
For Part II click this link – http://www.socialfocusbycg.com/started-social-media-beginners-tips-small-businesses-part-ii
Cheryl Gnad, of owner/social media consultant with Social Focus by CG, offers coaching and consulting for small businesses looking to incorporate social media into their advertising strategies. She is a self-developed business owner, and a trained social media manager with names like Kate Buck Jr., Amy Porterfield, and Sandi Krakowski. Follow her on Facebook at Social Focus by CG, Twitter @SocialFocusbyCG, and on Linkedin.