Social media is a huge part of most savvy business professional’s online presence and relationship building practices. Once used “in addition to” the more traditional marketing strategies, social media is now firmly embedded in the fabric of today’s business’ marketing plans.
Social media is an entity that is constantly in motion; and changes to the various platforms are not an “if,” but more of a “when.” This makes social media not only a daunting task for some, but a frustrating one as well, as many entrepreneurs scramble to heed the notion that they need to be seen wherever their ideal clients are. Like any large task, the act of breaking social media down into a checklist will help you remember the basics and keep your business’ social networking plan moving forward.
If you are just getting your feet wet in the social media world …
Do This Now:
- Set up Google Alerts to monitor your personal and business brands. This allows you to receive email alerts when your name or your business name is mentioned on anywhere on the Internet so you can see what is being said about you. (Reputation Management)
- Do some research and find out where your ideal clients hang out. Then pick those two social media platforms and claim your personal and business usernames. Resist the urge to have a huge presence on the multitudes of social media channels. Instead, pick two; create profiles, and work to gain a solid foothold on those two before moving on to others.
Get Started on Your Two Channels of Choice:
- Create a bio for your business that can be reused across all social media accounts now and in the future. Consider it an elevator pitch about your business for the benefit of those who will be connecting with you. Use those few sentences to describe your business, what you offer and the benefits to your target market and ideal client.
- Identify keywords connected to your industry and expertise, and use those keywords in your profile descriptions, social media updates and blog posts for SEO purposes.
- Start connecting with friends, colleagues and clients, and sharing relevant and value-added information. Resist the urge to burst onto your chosen social media channels with guns a blazin’ and shouting news of your products and services from the hypothetical rooftops. Practice the 80/20 rule of sharing (80% of information from other people and other sources and 20% of your own information) because you need to work on building relationships first; the selling will come later.
Build Your Team:
- Social media takes time, knowledge and consistency, so it’s a wise idea to have a game plan in place for implementing your social media strategy. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, assign this task to someone on your team. Whatever you choose to do, consistency is key.
- It’s also a good idea to have a back-up plan in place to allow for the times you or your team member are unable be active or monitor your social media accounts. This could be handled by another person in your company or outsourced to a third party.
- Talk, engage, and share! Put the “social” back into social media by having a presence and a voice.
- Check your social media streams daily and respond to those who have responded to you. Social media is a two-way conversation, not a one-way dialogue.
One good analogy I’ve heard is, “social media is a marathon, not a sprint.” Social media may be an amazing tool of business, but it is not a quick-fix or overnight success story. It takes time to build a following and gain the trust of your prospective clients. Allow the time to be present in social media and use that time to do your best work on behalf of your business.
Above all else … always be your authentic true self when interacting in social media. When everything is said and done, YOU are your business, your products and your services.
If this all sounds a bit too much for you, contact us and schedule a complimentary 20 minute consultation to discuss your social media needs in more detail and see how we might be of service.