If you’re starting a business, social media can look like a minefield you have to tread carefully through, being afraid to take one wrong step. As with anything, it takes time and perseverance to get it right; believe me it doesn’t all happen overnight. However, there is a huge amount of information available to help you achieve your purpose. Here are some tips and links to really useful posts that will help.
There are so many apps out there nowadays for your smartphone so you can use social media on the go. Make the most of them all to make your life easier and keep on top of your game, eg. Hootsuite, Tweetbot, Facebook Pages, etc.
Imagine someone is talking to you and you completely ignore them to their face or on the telephone. That would just be rude. So imagine social media is the same – when someone has “spoken” to you, don’t ignore them or wait days to reply. You could be too late and miss an opportunity for your business.
It can be quite daunting to start off, especially without any knowledge or training. Give it a go, dive in and start communicating and sharing. Just sitting there being quiet is like sitting in a room of networking people and avoiding everyone. It doesn’t benefit you.
Don’t ignore it
Social media is here and here to stay. Millions of people are using it, and these are your potential customers so don’t presume it’s not going to be any use to your business. You cannot ignore it any longer or think it’s just people talking about their breakfast. Get with the plan, people.
It’s quite obvious isn’t it? Being social means engaging with people – chatting, sharing, replying and helping. Don’t just throw out advertising all the time – people will unfollow you, I promise. Engagement can be so easy to do when online, as it can be done virtually and globally – from wherever you are. Check in on your mobile while you’re having a coffee, waiting for a train or whatever. Just chat! Anita Campbell of SmallBizTrends explains it perfectly in this video on Social Media Examiner and provides a lot more tips too.
It’s not just for teenagers anymore, believe it or not. It is still the biggest and leading social media platform, with 1.06 billion monthly active users and 46% of users over 45. Although it’s an ideal platform for B2C it is also growing a lot stronger for B2B. Make sure you stick to Facebook’s rules of engagement as they can be quite strict with business pages. The Ahain Group provide a great post explaining how to use Facebook best for business.
The be all and end all of Internet search. If Google doesn’t like you, then who will? Google likes to see you using social media – I think of it like a confirmation that you are alive and active, so Google will prefer you to a “dead” site that doesn’t engage at all. Although Google+ seems like it’s late to the party, there is method to its madness, and it’s important to have a G+ profile and the G+ button on your site too for SEO purposes. Google is like Big Brother and sees what everyone likes this way, whether you like it or not. You can find out more information and useful links in this post – How to Use Google+ for Business
Hang in there
It takes time to build up a good social media presence. Don’t expect it’s going to happen overnight. Unless you are a celebrity who everyone is interested in, your online presence will grow slowly. But don’t give up thinking it’s a waste of time because nothing is happening straight away. Bear with it and you’ll start seeing results if you persevere.
Everyone has a specialty, whether it is baking cakes, accountancy, landscaping or family tips; the list is endless. Use your expertise to help people out and inspire them to do better. You will be liked for it and recommended therefore growing your community, and hopefully your business.
Have a break from the business updates and share some jokes and funny pictures on social media too. Don’t’ be frustrated that they actually attract more attention than the important information you want to share with your community. Think of it like a quick way to spread your brand further as people love to share the funny and cute stuff.
The consensus on Klout seems to split the social media pundits, and I never really took that much notice of it before. However this post from Greg Fry shows how Klout can be useful for your business and how it has progressed. Looking at people’s Klout scores in my community it does seem to reflect influencers.
Depending on your business, LinkedIn can produce more contacts than other social media platforms, especially for B2B businesses. You are unlikely to get the large amount of followers that you will on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, however these LinkedIn followers are far more relevant. They are hopefully the decision makers in a business, or if not, they have a direct connection to who does. Here are some useful posts on ensuring your LinkedIn profile/page is working for you.
I hope the above is of some help to you and you’ll check back for the second part soon. I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for social media success.