Getting Started with Social? Here’s how

Getting started with something you know very little about is never easy.  When I started with social media, there weren’t all these great blogs and courses we have today.  I started on a whim with a company I was doing website design and management for.  I figured, hey they’re a retailer they should try out this social media thing.  At the time, social media was Facebook, Twitter and Myspace! And businesses didn’t have business pages, myspace was for musicians and teens and twitter was for amateurs.  Boy did this all change fast (and boy do I wish I would have gotten into it more back then).

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, with all this new ever-changing technology and the hundreds (I’m exaggerating just a bit) of networks to keep up with you have to know what you’re doing and keep this part of your business in check, especially with the constant changes happening on these networks.  So without further ado here’s how to get started with social media.

Keep Organized!

If you’re managing more than one social account you HAVE to keep organized.  That means putting a schedule in place, creating consistent content and getting those accounts on autopilot. Don’t be crazy and think you can manage 3+ accounts while running your business, at least not until you really get the hang of it.

One of my favorite tools to keep me on track is Google Calendar. Make sure you note what day you’ll post your blog (yep you’ve gotta have a blog too!) Create alerts, interaction times so you answer any replies & retweet/re-share content. Typically that alone should be about 1-2 hour's of your day - everyday.

I suggest sitting down every week and banging out all of your posts for that week. Hey if you can do 2+ weeks, more power to you!

Planning your content is key to maximizing your time.  Here’s an example of what a good content calendar looks like.

Schedule Your Content!

I know what you’re thinking, “How the heck am I going to fit all of this into my day when I still have my business to run?” As you get the hang of it and keep writing you’ll start to fill that bucket of content.  The more content you have, the better and easier it is for you to start re-using what you’ve put all your hard work into.

One of my favorite schedulers for small business owners who are just starting out is bufferBuffer allows you to schedule all your content, plus some extra goodies which we can get into at another time.

Once you’ve written everything up, you can get ahead and upload everything to their scheduler and vuala! No thinking or posting what you’re going to do next.

How often to post...

So what should you be posting and how often?

Facebook

Minimum 3x per week Maximum 10x per week

Quality over Quantity!  Facebook measures all these pretty little things you don’t think about, and the more salesy you get, the less you’re going to be seen.  So make those posts count, make people want to learn more about you, your business.

Twitter

Twitter moves super duper fast, so posting here multiple times is key.  Minimum 5x per day. Make sure to share, re-tweet and thank your re-tweeters and followers!

Google+

Minimum 3x per week Maximum 10x per week

Use lots of keywords, things that you would want people to google and be able to find you. This is quality content, prime real estate!

Pinterest

High Volume/High Value

Post, Post, Post!  Minimum 5x per day Maximum 10x per day.  Be sure to post clear quality images and link back to your site.

 

I know this all seems like a lot, and without a doubt it is. But if you want to maximize your marketing and actually get results, this is a plan you need to stick to.  Honestly, I don’t suggest you do this all on your own.  Its a lot and you do have a business to run, so either plan on training your employees or hire a reputable social media manager.

All About Twitter for Small Businesses

I've been using twitter for a few years and I sometimes forget those who have little or no experience have no clue what its about. Recently I had a conversation with my sister, she really had no idea what I did for a living so my simple answer, "I manage social media for businesses", "Ummm, what does that mean?" My answer, "Well for instance I work with a branding agency tweeting about advertising & branding".  What the heck is tweeting? I seriously couldn't believe she was asking me this.  She had heard the term tweeting before, but she never had to use it nor was she interested (or so she thought).  She's a teacher and an artist and what drove me crazy about her not knowing about twitter was that she could be using it for her art!  Low and behold, this is my next project - kick starting her twitter and teaching her how to use it.

So for those who need an explanation, Twitter IS another FREE marketing tool for your business.  There are over 230 million users on this platform so you better believe it's a site you want to be on.  But what's important to remember, you can't just expect to get on there and start tweeting away with no clear strategy behind it.

One of the biggest mistakes I find small businesses making is they create their account, go crazy posting promotional content, see there's no response and just quit. Just because its free it doesn't mean you can just go crazy because you know you're  saving money.  You HAVE to know what you're doing.  One of the BIGGEST marketing challenges is social media and this is one road you don't want to screw up.  You know the old saying, you gotta spend money to make money?  Well its true! Whether you're hiring a social media expert, taking a course so you can do it yourself or advertising on one of the platforms.

There are a ton of free resources out there to take advantage of, just google it and you'll be presented with some of the best free advice out there.  And if you're still overwhelmed about getting together a strategy you can feel free to contact me for a consultation.

In the meantime check out this quick Twitter Cheat Sheet I created for Beginners.