I recently gave a social media presentation to a group of small business owners. The topic, selecting the right social media for your business.
For those who are not tech savvy, or fans of the latest whizbangs and widgets, social media can be a puzzle. So many mediums to choose from can be overwhelming, to say the least.
So how do you choose? How do you sift through the swirling vortex of 1s and 0s in cyberspace?
My advice is to start with a plan.
What are your goals, what do you expect to gain from social media? Brand awareness? Customer retention? Customer service? Sales funnel?
While social media platforms may be free, your time is valuable. How much time do you want to invest in your social media image?
Look at your business model? Is your product of visual interest or are you selling services? A visual business such as an art gallery might do well on Pinterest or Instagram. While a service such as tax preparation might excel on LinkedIn or Facebook. A restaurant might be able to use both Pinterest, FourSqare, Urban Spoon and Yelp. Knowing how you want to present yourself and your business will be a key factor in selecting the right social media platform to utilize.
However, being comfortable in a platform speaks volumes. You could create a presence on all of the mediums I mentioned above but if you are not comfortable using them, you will not. I suggest creating a personal profile and getting to know the medium before you put your business out there. Get some interaction going, a sense of community and be consistent.
In social media, consistency is key. It is better to have a consistent presence than to have an abandoned profile your potential customers could be viewing. So, knowing how will you maintain your presence is huge.
A few quick tips for posting:
Don’t be “salesy”
Pay attention to the details.
When posting events, remember – the 5 “Ws” – who, what, when, where and why.
Post as if your mother were reading every line.
My mama always told me, if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything.
As a final note: if you plan on having someone else maintain your image, make sure they know your business inside and out and that you trust them, not only online, but with your reputation. It is your business they represent. That is a whole other can of worms. Maybe that will be a post for another time.
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