Using social media to help your business grow isn’t just a good idea, it’s almost essential. As society moves into a more and more technology-centered mindset, companies are increasingly forced into the world of social media, digital marketing, and web development.
However, the ocean of social media is broad, and it’s often intimidating for business owners to jump in.
Never fear. These five simple steps will get you going in the right direction and help you ease into social media.
Decide on a Platform
Just because there’s a new social media platform available every day doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to manage more than a few social media accounts. Your first step should be to decide how you want social media to work for your company. Then, use that information to make a decision on the platform or platforms that are best for you. If your business is very image-focused, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are great options. If you cater to a young audience and delivering information is the primary focus of your business, Twitter might work for you. Decide which platforms will best serve your goals, and focus your attention on those platforms alone.
Plan Your Content
You should share content frequently, but don’t feel like you have to write all of the content you share. Find articles or images that your audience would find helpful, entertaining, or useful, then share that content. Plan your content in advance, if possible, and use a site like Hootsuite to help you pre-release your posts. That way, you can see your week at a glance, keep up with interactions, plan your content, and know it will be displayed for you while you do other things for your business.
Find Industry Leaders
One of the top questions business owners have as they delve into social media is “Who do I follow?” The simplest answer is to follow industry leaders. If you’re a fine artist, follow the brands, artists, and galleries you love. If you sell insurance, follow industry leaders who have a significant following, or business you want to pitch to down the line. Social media is a community where people of like minds and like interests can get together and network. That means the easiest way to get started is to find your people.
Don’t try to conquer social media overnight. Instead, pick a few things you’d like to share, and start there. The easiest thing to start with is an introduction announcing your presence on social media and asking what your audience wants from you. Something as simple as “Hello, Facebook! We’re excited to be a part of the community. What would you like to see from us?” can open the door. Post once or twice a week to start with, and master one social media outlet before you try the next. If you already use Facebook at home with a personal account, you’re probably comfortable enough with it to start a business page. Start there, then make your way onto other platforms.
It’s a Conversation, Not a Lecture
Finally, remember that social media is a conversation, and it should go two ways. Don’t spend your time pumping out sales information, product releases, and marketing content. You won’t be happy with the response you get if all you do is promote. Instead, ask questions, get to know your audience, and show that your company is made up of real human beings with thoughts, interests, and genuine concern for its clientele.
Social media doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. It can be a rewarding exchange between you, the business owner, and your clients. You can gain knowledge about what’s working and what’s not, and if you play your cards right you’ll be able to prove to your audience that you’re listening and interested in their thoughts and opinions. Doing so can help you build an excellent relationship with them and set your business up for high levels of social media success.