If you are a small business owner who is yet to get acquainted with social media, you are likely to be intimidated, overwhelmed, and even confused by sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Google+ etc. when considering what to do and what not to do when using these social media sites for business.
The good news, however, is that it is not only easy and fun to use these sites for your business, but they can also open up immense possibilities.
Below, we take a look at 7 tips on getting started in social media to help you navigate the waters in an effective and manageable way.
Pick one site to start with
Most small businesses that have an online presence are known to participate on several sites. But doing too much too fast will leave you overwhelmed and prevent you from effectively using each site. It is thus prudent to choose one site and dedicate all your efforts there before moving on to others.
Have a time budget dedicated to social media
While it may be a good way to learn the ropes by spending many hours on popular social sites getting up to speed, the truth is that most people do not have the energy, time, or interest in putting so much time into social media. Instead, it is advisable to come up with a time budget that will limit the time you spend online to a weekly or daily total and also one that will easily fit your schedule.
Clarify your social media objectives and goals
Having established how much time you will be spending on social media sites, you then need to set clear goals and objectives in what you intend to achieve. Are you interested in establishing yourself as an expert in your field, finding colleagues to work with, or generating leads? Whatever you decide, once you have started, ensure that you plan regular progress checks to ensure that you are on the right track.
Map your approach
Since there are hundreds of different ways to use social sites for business, no single way is better than another. The important thing is to have a rough idea of your intended approach prior to engaging with customers online. Will you be communicating, providing industry related news, or presenting a mix of personal and business information? Your approach should be tied to your goals when getting started.
Consistently complete your social profiles
Your social media account(s) has to include some sort of profile which may contain fields such as websites, bio, location, blog, and a headshot. Always complete any profiles on sites that you use. Again, if you are using several social media sites, ensure that their data is consistent across board. This will aid in broader reach, recognition, and ongoing conversations with the same contacts on various sites.
Observe and lurk
When you are new to social networking sites, at times the best way to get started is to sign up and then watch the pros that have been using the site for a while. With each site having its own nuances, it would be wise to spend some time learning and observing what goes on before deciding on the approach to take to promote your business.
Make use of a social media dashboard
As mentioned earlier, the greatest challenge with social networking is, arguably, time management. The use of dashboards such as TweetDeck, Social Oomph, and Hootsuite will help you manage the time spent on these sites more effectively. These tools allow the setting up of notifications and alerts, skim activity quickly, create groups, schedule updates etc. in order to automate some of the processes involved for an efficient and smooth online presence.
We hope you enjoyed this article. Visit our top tips for social media page to learn more about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.
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