How to get started on Social Media

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When small businesses decide to finally get an online presence they expect instant results. Rightfully so, but is it realistic? Let’s analyze how Social Media works and you will be able to determine it for yourself.

You decided it is time to go online and do some research about Social Media platforms. You hope you will find one that will resonate with you because you know what you want, to promote your business. Great! While you are on a search engine such as Google you think to yourself: “Which Social Media platform should I research first and what do I look for?”

You probably have heard your kids or your younger customers talking about platforms such as FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and you think to yourself; “What are they? Which one is good for my business?”. There are many other questions that may run through your mind right now.  So you decide to type in “What is Social Media?” hoping that you will get an answer. Yes, someone had decided to write about this stuff to make your job easier. Just the same, you are thinking that it would be nice that when someone types in a question about your services they will find your business fast.

Now you have more hope, you WANT to know more about Social Media. You start reading about it and there are so many articles with so many opinions…which one is accurate? You are getting more confused about it all. Who is the expert here? Which one of these authors have more credentials than the others? Hard to say because the reality is that Social Media has become this movement that not only revolutionary but it also literally moves so fast in every which direction. 

You decide to take a break and move away from your computer. Maybe by calling your business partner and ask her about Social Media, you will gain some clarity as to where to start. Hopefully, she has an idea that would be best for the business when it comes to your online presence. She tells you that Social Media is great to have for business but that it takes so much time that neither of you will be able to keep up. She knows for a fact that she won’t be able to make the time for it. At this point you decide to stay away from the online world and spend more time on what is really important, getting more clients. Months go by and even though your business is doing well, you notice how your competitors are taking advantage of the online tools to market their business. You decide to give it one more try. Here is what you need to know to get you started:

  • Set goals – Ask yourself what is it that you want to achieve by using Social Media.  Develop a strategic time frame for each goal.
  • Create a plan – Craft a chart that will showcase the answers to the most important questions when developing your Social Media presence: What? When? Who? How?
  • Be patient – It takes time to see results and if you hear anyone saying that they will guarantee followers on Twitter or Likes on Facebook within a set time that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Start small – Take one account at the time. Don’t rush to learn it all at once. Perfect one platform then move on to the next. Give yourself time but don’t take too long to perfect the platform you are working on. There is always something new coming up. As long as you have the basics covered you are good to move on to the next platform.
  • Build relationships with your network and potential clients. Don’t use Social Media to only blast about your “specials of the day”. Use the 80-20 rule: 80% about engagement and sharing useful information and 20% about you and your business. This way you will gain trust from your target audience, therefore, making it easier for them to contact you for business.
  • Design a user-friendly website. The harder you make it for people to find the information the fewer results you will see. Simplicity is the key.
  • Integrate your Social Media presence with your website. One person may find your website through a Social Media channel and others may find your Social Media presence by visiting your website. Your online presence must provide visibility for your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Consider your online presence your online networking tool.
  • Keep on learning – Take some seminars to help you jump online faster. We all know that time is money, therefore, the time it takes you to learn things on your own you could spend on your business for your face to face clients instead.

If you decide to hire someone to take care of your Social Media marketing make sure that you know what they are doing. Yes, you may not understand much to do it yourself but getting yourself informed about what is done is crucial. A good Social Media professional is one that is not afraid to answer questions and give you specific answers in regards to what will be done and how.

Do you have questions about Social Media? Let me know, I am here to serve you.

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