Getting started with social media

Get the basics right with social media

Everyone is telling you to get onto Facebook or Twitter.

They say that it will increase your website visitors and the number of leads you gather.

All you need to do is start posting Facebook updates and sending out tweets.

Oh and it’s free…

Well let me call bull @#%$ on that!

Yes, social media can generate more traffic and leads.

But no, it is not free, it costs time.

And there are MANY wrong ways to go about social media – All of which will prevent you from gaining traffic and leads, and could have a negative effect on your business.

But don’t panic! Most of those ‘wrong’ techniques are due to bad planning and can easily be avoided.

Before I continue, I do need to stress that everyone makes mistakes in social media, that’s because it’s a constantly evolving platform.

Don’t be scared of the idea of getting something wrong, just make sure you correct yourself if it happens.

So how should we get started with social media?

Getting the basics in place

I’m going to sound like a little bit of a bore now – sorry.

The most important thing you can do is create a plan.

I know, yawn right?

But it’s one of those things that have to be done if you want to get the most out of your social media efforts.

Identify goals

First off, you need to identify what you want to achieve.

  • Why do you want to use social media?
  • How can you connect with your audience?
  • What will social media do for you?

Identify your target audience

The second thing you need to do is identify your audience.

  • Who are they?
  • Which websites do they use?
  • What do they like?
  • What don’t they like?
  • What is their experience level?

Identify who is going to run your social media

The next step is to identify who in your business is going to be creating the content.

  • Who is going to post?
  • When are those people available?
  • Are they in charge of monitoring the social networks?
  • Who is keeping track of your progress?
  • How much time can be allocated to social media?

Identify content topics and frequency

Finally, you need to work out what you are going to say, and how often.

  • What does your audience want to hear about?
  • What problems are they faced with?
  • How often can you create content?
  • What should a good post consist of?
  • Where is the content going to come from?
  • What do we want our audience to learn?

That last question is one of the most important questions from this list.

If you can identify exactly what you want your audience to learn, then you can work out the steps that they need to take to get there.

That will give you a load of content for your entire online presence, not just social media.

Creating a plan can seem like a boring task, but without one, you won’t know where you are going.

That means that the content you create will be all over the place, and your audience will get lost in the process.

Remember to listen to your audience, find out exactly what they want to learn about, or areas that they having problems with, then be the one that can help them.

Once you have your plan in place, go ahead and pick one or two of the social networks and dive in!

  • I agree, the setup is the most important part. With all the tools, reports, shiny objects to look at, social media can get extremely overwhelming, and also use up a ton of time. Knowing what you want to get out of it, and what to put in, is going to help in that regard. Plus, it will deliver to your audience a much better experience.

    • Exactly! It’s the one step that the majority of people overlook, yet it will make your social media presence a lot more effective and as you say, better for your audience.

      Thanks for commenting Stephan!

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