Follow These 6 Steps to Get Started in Social Media
Does a small business need to be on social media? Absolutely. The major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing all place some value on how strong a company’s social media presence is when determining the search engine results. Not only does it help search engine rankings, but it allows you ‘free’ access to potential clients to market your services too.
There are seemingly a million different social networks out there these days. And for a small business owner trying to run their own business and be on top of social media, it can be a challenge.
What do you start with ? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram,? YouTube? What abut the less well-known social networks like Digg, Delicious, Tumblr, Last FM, StumbleUpon? Do you really have time to run your business AND market your business properly? Most business owners don’t. Let me give you an idea of where you can at least get started and get the most bang for your buck.
1. First Decide What Social Media Networks To Use.
The obvious thing would be to say, well let’s start with Facebook and Twitter. That may very well be the right place to start. However, it isn’t the best for everyone. Yes, Facebook has the majority of users, however, you need to consider where your followers are.
So for example, you are a tattoo shop, you may have a large portion of followers and potential customers on Instagram or Pinterest because of the visual nature of your business. So, think strategically, and come up with 2-4 social media platforms you want to focus on. I don’t recommend more than that. Anymore than that and you can be overwhelmed and not end up doing any of them very well. For most small businesses I recommend Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and YouTube.
2. Set Up Your Facebook Page.
I would start with Facebook first partly because of the sheer volume of users that its social media for small businesses has. So first set up a Facebook Business Page. When setting it up be sure to add your information as needed and do not copy it from other places online like your ‘about us’ page on your website. Doing so is not a good SEO practice. Fully optimize your page with photo’s, your logo, web address, contact info, appropriate links, good description, etc.
3. Incorporate Social Media Icons On Your Site.
The obvious reason for this is that you want your followers to be able to easily locate your social media networks and follow you. My preferred method of social media icons is to allow users to Like’ or ‘Follow’ you without leaving your site. I have this setup on my website.
4. Engage Your Followers.
You can do this by posting engaging photo’s or by posting status updates that require a response (such as fill in the blank). Another way you can do it is by having contests or special promotions.
Be Consistent. It’s important to consistently provide status updates. Consistently engage with your audience. Give them a reason to follow you, to interact with you.
5. Consider PPC.
If you are having a problem engaging fans, it may be appropriate to consider paying for ads on a social network like Facebook. By doing this you can get hundreds if not thousands of more followers in a short period of time. Doing so will boost your social media presence and relevancy, and ultimately lead to more business for you.
I know, I know, you may be reading this saying that nobody is interested in a painting contractors status updates. Or, who wants to read status updates about a landscaping company. Well, a couple things there. First, the search engines place weight on it. Second, you don’t think like your customers and they don’t always think like you. Everybody is different. Don’t assume that just because you don’t think it is interesting, that others won’t think it is.
6. Social Media doesn’t have to be a chore.
You can make it fun, interactive, and profitable. If you follow the steps above you will be well on your way to improving your social media presence. This guide will help you get started with social media, including showing you how you can use social media to generate leads.
So tell me, what social network have you had the most success with? Just comment below.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community