How to get started in social media using baby steps
Social media has been around for many, many years, yet there are still businesses that are scared, terrified or downright avoiding adding it to their marketing mix. Why? I think it’s a mix of uncertainty, lack of understanding (of its value and importance) and fear.
As a corporate trainer, my workshop How to Rock Social Media has now become my top requested offering. So much so that I’m adding it to the training videos on How to Communications.
Why all the interest now? Like anything new, many people took a wait and see approach to using social media for their businesses. As time went by, it became obvious that social media is a marketing and content tool that can no longer be ignored.
So where to begin?
1. Understand the platforms
Take some time to understand the various social media platforms. Figure out what platform makes the best sense for your business or organization. Here is a very high level summary:
- Facebook – social, personable, human connection
- Twitters – news, what’s happening right here, right now
- Instagram – all about the visuals using photos and videos
- LinkedIn – professional, business-to-business
- YouTube – entertainment or educational videos
- Blogs – audience and content specific
Follow brands and businesses that rock social media. Don’t worry about whether or not they are in the same industry as you. There’s a lot to be learned about social media best practices by following large brands, sporting teams and personalities.
Look at what posts have the biggest engagements (likes, shares, views, comments), how the organization interacts with its audience, and how often they are posting. Now keep in mind there’s a good chance there is a social media team hard at work (so don’t have unrealistic expectations about your page).
3. Dig deeper
Now take a look at social media pages of businesses or organizations in your sector. How are they using social media to connect with their customers and audience? What’s working? What’s not working? And what best practices from the pages you researched could be applied to your sector?
If you’re part of a Chamber of Commerce or other industry organization, reach out to other members to find out how they manage their social media pages. Do they have a social media team or someone assigned to managing social media? Or is it done off the side of the desk by anyone who remembers (which obviously is not the way to go)?
4. Get some training!
We have no problem signing people up for Excel training, health and safety, and other hard skills courses. Yet we seem to think social media is something you can just figure out as go along. Wrong!
If you work in a larger organization, bring in a trainer (like me!) to help break down some social media best practices and share tips and advice. If you’re a one person show, sign up for an online course, hire a coach to help you get started and hold your hand through the early stages.
While it will take some time to navigate and rock social media, the longer it takes you to jump in and learn, the further behind (and less relevant) your organization is to your customers and audience. This is a trend that isn’t going away. Rather it’s evolving and growing with each day. And you need to evolve and grow with it.
Are you ready to go from fear to rocking social media?
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