Getting Started With Social Media

Social media is no longer a novelty or fad. It’s no longer something that only media savvy or train experts can do. Nowadays it’s something it’s so common we take it for granted and it’s accessible by virtually everybody all over the world.

The benefits of social media marketing:

  • Increased exposure
  • Increased traffic
  • Developed loyal fans
  • Generate leads
  • Improved search ranking (SEO)
  • Grow business partnerships
  • Improved sales
  • Provided marketplace insight

Whether you are already in the game or still trying to get your foot in the door, consider some tips and tricks to get more from your social efforts.

Are you social?

Get started by setting up accounts with the mainstream social networking sites. Which one(s)? That is a great question! The general rule of thumb is, “the one your customers use”. If the majority of your target audience is on Twitter, it makes sense to communicate via Twitter for instance.

When filling out the profile information, take the time to make sure everything is complete. It may not be your website, but it IS an extension of you and/or your business. This is where you’ll be communicating with your followers, customers and fans on a day to day basis, so it’s important to put your best possible “foot” forward.

Use a logo or image to help customers identify with your brand and service. Visitor should have a good understanding in the first few seconds of what it is you do. Develop an engaging company description to get them interested and then provide a link to your business website.

Integrate Everywhere!

Social media is not an end unto itself, it’s not an overnight fix nor does it work in isolation to all your other marketing efforts. It SHOULD be included in all your daily marketing and PR initiatives. As mentioned above, Social Media is a communication tool to interact with people in a space they are comfortable interacting in. If they are not aware you are social, how can they interact with you.

Make sure your website, blog and email newsletter include social “share” buttons for people to easily share your great content.

Other places you can include your social information:

  • Email Marketing
  • Event Marketing
  • Office Stationary
  • Email Signatures
  • Business Cards
  • Print Ads
  • Signage
  • Mobile Marketing

Create!

One of my favourite examples of what sums up social media for me is TED‘s tag line of “Ideas worth sharing”.
Success with social media requires brands to listen rather than talk. Help your followers to solve a particular problem, broaden their horizons with new ideas or simply join in their discussions to learn what’s important to them.

It’s not about YOU! No one wants to hear about you or how your product will revolutionize their lives. Don’t be that bore at the party who can only talk about themselves, no one likes that guy.

Final Thoughts on starting out in Social Media!

No social media strategy can succeed without an appropriate amount of time devoted to it. Invest in some social tools to help manage your new social accounts so that you aren’t overwhelmed. Social media should be fun and convey an enthusiasm for the topic.
If you don’t have the budget to hire someone dedicated to managing your social media marketing, find someone (it could be yourself) who is gregarious and importantly keen to take on the role.