Social media is a helpful communication tool for businesses as it allows them to communicate directly with customers and engage them in conversations. Social media can also help you to increase your customers’ brand awareness and find new contacts or business opportunities.
If you want to become active on social media, but don’t know where to start, here are the top nine tips for getting started with social media.
- What is your goal?Before joining social media, think about why you want to use it. Your goal might be to make more industry contacts, engage with customers or build brand awareness. Having a goal will give you some direction when determining your social media activities, as well as measuring your overall success.
- Choose a platform.When starting with social media, it’s a good idea to focus on one social media platform first. Then, once you’ve mastered one platform, you can move on to another. Taking on too many at once can be very overwhelming and may be less effective.When choosing the right platform for your business, think about which platform will help you achieve your goal. You also need to consider the best platform to help you reach your target audience. This will be the platform your target audience is most active on.
- Define your area of expertise.Getting involved in social media is a great way to communicate with your customers and position your business as an expert. One way to do this is by showcasing your business’ expert knowledge in a particular area.Define your business’ area of expertise and make sure your profile reflects this. For example, discussing it in your business’ bio and posting and commenting on expert articles about this area.
- Get your information ready.Before creating a profile on a social media platform, make sure you have all your information ready. Write a short bio for your business, create a cover image and logo/avatar image in the correct sizes and have your company information, such as contact details, ready. This way, when you do create a profile, you will have all the information ready to fill it out straight away. Having a completed profile is important so people are able to find you and understand more about the business.
- What content will you post?You need to think about the type of content you will post on social media. Before you sign up to social media, it’s a good idea to prepare content to ensure you have something to post. To help you plan your content, also consider developing a content calendar. This will also help you make the most of the content you have.
- Who will monitor it?Think about who will be in charge of your social media profiles. It’s a good idea to have at least one social media manager within your organisation who can monitor, update, post and measure social media, as well as manage other employees’ involvement. This will help you to ensure your social media is managed correctly.
- Build followers.Once you have created a profile on social media, you need to start building your followers. One way to do this is by informing your friends, clients and networks about your profile and encouraging them to follow or connect with you. Include the URL to your social media profile in all of your marketing materials, business cards, email signatures, newsletters, website and more.
- Measure success.Think about how you will measure your social media involvement to determine its success. This can also help you to discover whether your activities are working and what you can do to improve your results.You could use a paid or free social media monitoring service or develop your own system. For example, Sprout Social is a paid service and monitors your followers, influence, engagement, clicks and more.
- Create a strategy.After answering the eight questions above, you will have a wealth of information that you can include into a social media strategy. A strategy will help you to formalise and organise all of your activities on social media and help you to conduct activities to achieve your goal.