It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the social media tools available to you today. This is especially true when you’re first getting started. Here are five easy tips to help event the most overwhelmed businessperson get started with social media:
1. Choose your Tools. Open an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus with your business name – this way you’ll have your name reserved – but you don’t have to start using all of them at once. Pick one or two that work for your business, your audience, and your schedule. Post a couple of times a week and start interacting with your customers. Over time – based on how engaged your followers are – you’ll know what works, and you can add more social media sites to the mix.
2. Target your Audience. One of the benefits of social media marketing is that you can be different things to different people. If your Twitter followers are eager to click on links you provide, but you find there’s more discussion happening on your Facebook Page, that’s OK. Follow your networks lead, and share content accordingly.
3. Listen to your Customers. Make sure what you’re saying on social media is relevant to your followers. This will give your business credibility and trust. People will come back to you because you’ve shown them you’re an expert in your industry. Ask your customers what they want from you – use a poll, an online survey or Facebook Questions – and follow through. They’ll appreciate your interest in their opinion, and you’ll know what topics or resources to talk about on social media.
4. Size up the Competition. If you’re starting out in social media, and you’re not quite sure what to do or what to say, take a look at your competitors or industry. Use a free tool like HootSuite and set up a search stream for keywords or tweets by and about competitors so you can be in the know. Connect with Facebook Pages in your industry and pay attention to their posts. By observing the conversation, you might be inspired by a topic or promotion, or you’ll quickly learn what not to do.
5. Give it a Try. Many of the small business owners I speak with events across Vancouver say they can’t wait any longer – they’ve got to get started with social media marketing. If you feel like it’s time to create your business’ social media presence but you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Just take it one step at a time.