Are you still meaning to start your social media plan? Or perhaps you just haven’t had the time or maybe you’re waiting until after your next project. Maybe you’ve been secretly wishing social media would go away by now! Whatever the reason (or excuse), getting started can be the hardest part. Other than finding the time to start your campaign, I find that most businesses are simply overwhelmed by the high volume of social media information and the constant changes.
Don’t let that hold you back, because social media is NOT going away anytime soon, so here are my five simple tips to get started!
1. Set realistic expectations.
In case you haven’t heard, social media is not magic. You will need to be realistic about your goals and expectations, about how to measure them, and when to make changes. Be sure to set a clear goal such as “use Facebook contests to increase traffic to my store by five percent in the next three months.” Setting a blanket goal such as “more customers and more money” will just leave you feeling defeated.
2. Start small.
One of the biggest mistakes I have seen business owners make is trying to take on too much, too soon. Rather than setting up 10 accounts to keep track of, pick one or two to start. Monitor and track your progress, and once you have a feel for what’s working or not working, make changes as necessary.
3. Set a date.
Set a date for launching your brand on social media. Using this date as a focal point, start planning backwards, so you can assure you will meet your time-frame. Be sure to build up yourself, and your current audience, for this launch date!
4. Devise a plan for going forward.
Now that you have everything in place, the biggest step will be maintaining your presence. First, block out some time in your daily calendar to keep up with social media marketing. Take that time to check out what your audience and peers are posting, write your content, monitor your competition and strategize ways to keep your content fresh and relevant. For the latter, I recommend a monthly editorial calendar. This will help you focus your content on a specific topic, which is great for both consistency and determining what to post.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
One great thing about social media is the ability to solicit feedback from others. If you have a question about a Facebook page for your business, or you’re not sure if you are on the right track, you can throw it out there on your newsfeed and allow your peers to answer! LinkedIn has a great Answers tool which is perfect to gain help from experts.
If you get stuck, remember the golden question to ask yourself:
“IS THIS OF VALUE TO MY AUDIENCE?”
If you’re unsure on how to get started on executing any of the tips mentioned above, and would like to see how your business could benefit from expert guidance in adopting social media effectively, I’d love to hear from you.