Social Media Today stated in a recent blog post that 67 percent of small business owners who responded to a 2011 study are holding back on social media because they don’t know where to begin.
For some, the first step toward getting involved in social media is often the most difficult. It can be overwhelming and many small businesses ignore it altogether. However, there are clear advantages to using social media for your business and you’d be throwing away potential revenue by ignoring it. Let me show you the best way to dive in.
Step One: Choose a Social Media Coordinator
The great thing about social media is that it can be done by anyone. The problem is because it’s something that most people do in their free time, it can be hard to assign this job to one individual. Often the best person is the one with the most experiencenot in social mediabut with the product or service that you are offering. Unfortunately the person with the most experience also tends to be the busiest, so if having the boss manage your social media is out of the question, determine a person who is familiar with the platforms you’ll be using and has some knowledge about your business. It will be easier to have someone who at least has the most experience using social media because it will take them far less time learning the platforms and they can focus on creating product-oriented content. One of the biggest mistakes made with choosing a social media coordinator is thinking that it can be outsourced or given to the “youngest” in the company. While you may think that your 19-year-old intern is a wiz at Facebook, if they don’t know anything about your business, they will struggle to identify or connect with your audience. The real key to choosing someone to run your social media is to choose someone who really knows your business. They need to know what you are trying to do, who you are trying to reach, and what your overall business branding identity is.
Step Two: Choose a Social Media Platform
Start simple. Start with 140 characters. Start with Twitter. Twitter is a great way to ease your way into the social media realm. Its easy and most importantly its simple. Keep your messages short and sweet. Announce a new product offering or new locations. Try to keep the content relavent to your business and avoid the temptation to tweet what you had for breakfast that morning. Even when you are first starting out and you think that no one is listening, post as if everyone on the internet is hanging on your every character. Make each one count, all 140 of them.
Step Three: Make a Social Media Calendar
The problem a lot of people have with starting their social media plan is that it’s so easy to set up and get started but they have trouble sticking to it. They don’t get the response that they want right away and get frustrated and give up. The thing that you have to remember with social media is that even if you think no one is listening, they are. The best way to stay on track, even if you’re not noticing immediate results, is to make a social media calendar. Divide your social media budget throughout the month evenly. Ideally you would like to be able to interact and post at least once a day, but if that is too much to handle in the beginning schedule posts throughout the week. Write in topics that you want to talk about so that when it comes time to post you aren’t blankly staring at your computer trying to come up with relevant content. Look at what events or products are coming up that month with your business and schedule social media posts around that.
The whole point of social media is to be fun, so have fun with it. Millions of people in this country use it for free every single day because they want to, and if you take the first steps you will most likely find the fun in it as well. So, designate a social media coordinator, come up with a schedule and get to it. Its fun, Its free (most important) and its easy.
If you do decide to make the plunge, come check out some of our Social Media pages. You might find some ideas that will help you with your journey as well: