Many people need help in finding some direction in Social Media. Most people have dabbled around a bit and setup some accounts buy aren’t sure what to do next. Others are intimidated because they think Social Media Marketing will consume loads if their valuable time. The honest truth is that social media is huge and it’s FREE. Nearly all businesses can benefit from Social Media Marketing, and there really is no excuse as to why you shouldn’t be taking advantage of it.
This post is to educate you about where to start, what to do next and how to build a good platform so your Social Media networks update themselves, saving you time. Don’t look at this post as a lengthy read that you’ll put off. Start with one social network, then approach another; But really, stop procrastinating and jump on the bandwagon already. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Network #1: Facebook
EVERY business should have a Facebook fan page. Period. Facebook is the most visited website on the Internet; Yes, more traffic than Google. Potential customers spend many hours each day clicking around on Facebook. Your business page needs to be here so they can come across it.
First, create a fan page on Facebook. Go through your pages biography information and fill out all of the fields. None of this information is personal, it’s all pertaining to your business, so fill it all out. Don’t forget to upload a profile photo; This could be your logo, a product, or a photo of another element of the business. If you’re not sure which to use, then use your logo.
Once your page has 25 fans you can obtain a vanity URL such as facebook.com/CaffeineKeyboard. The first way to get fans is to suggest the page to your friends so they can like it. Suggest by clicking on “Invite Friends” on the top left corner of your page. Only page administrators can suggest pages.
The next step can both increase fans and also shape your company brand. Switch over to use Facebook as your page, rather than you as a person. Do this by clicking Account, Use Facebook as Page, then select your page. Next, browse around to other pages and “like” them. Like pages that you want to be associated with, other companies you do business with, network with, share a community with, customers or mentors. The pages you like will be displayed on your fan page as pages you like.
Now that you have more than 25 fans, create your vanity URL at facebook.com/username/
Enable your blog posts to automatically post to your Facebook fan page (if you want to). Here’s how: Go to the Networked Blogs Facebook fanpage app. Click “register a blog” in the top right corner and follow the steps. That’s it!
Network #2: Twitter
Many people I speak with who are new to the social media world are terrified of Twitter. The terms used to describe networking on Twitter intimidate them: tweet, hashtag, follow, list, URL shortener, etc. The truth is that if you can give Twitter a few minutes a day, you will pick it up in no time. A tweet is simply a micro-blog post, limited to 140 characters. When a link is used it is shrunk so it is less characters in length (URL shortener). Twitter is an extremely easy way to keep tabs on many different types of things.
Start out by creating a twitter account at Twitter.com. Upload a profile photo, keep in mind these are pretty small and even smaller in a twitter stream. Next add your description – this field is very short so choose your words wisely; Select words that clearly define what you do. You should also change your profile colors to reflect your brand.
You will now “follow” other twitter users. The people you follow create the content that fills up your tweet stream. You can search for specific people, companies, or brands, or you can see who Twitter suggests for you to follow.
Next are lists, you put people in lists, that you create, this is not following them. You can have someone in a list and not be following them, or follow them but not have them in a list. You can also choose to make your lists private (only viewable by you) or public, which is viewed by anyone. Think carefully about your public lists, what you title them and who you include in them.
There are many WordPress plugins and website codes to automatically tweet your most recent blog posts.
Network #3: LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a little less social media and a little more social networking. Each persons page is similar to a resume on a Red Bull (you can also export your profile to print as a resume). This Is a great professional reference and networking site.
Start filling out your profile, which is guided. The network will point out areas you should fill out, try to fill them all out as it opens up more networking opportunities. Add all of your job descriptions and past work experience – show off your attributes; Potential clients may research you!
Now it’s time to add people to your professional network. LinkedIn will suggest some people, but you should search for other connections directly. Think of past and current co-workers, supervisors, mentors, people from school and even people you’ve met on other social networks and send them an invitation to your network.
One great feature about LinkedIn is their groups. Click the groups tab up top and search for some of your interests. There are groups for nearly any interest for every person. Once you join some groups browse through the posts, comment or “like” them or even create your own. There is a ton of things to learn in these groups!
Have continuous activity on LinkedIn by using their add ons in your profile. A few add ons include your tweets and blog updates. These appear in your profile and also on the LinkedIn activity feed, which makes you appear consistently active.
The last tip is to get recommendations. These are somewhat like testimonials of your work for others to read. On the right side of your dashboard go to “ask for recommendations”. You can select who you’d like to ask; However, you can also receive unsolicited recommendations. All recommendations can be reviewed and approved or declined prior to being seen by others.
Network #4: Google+
You’ve made it this far, one more won’t hurt! Google+ is the newest social network and obtained 20 million users faster than any other social media network. This network is different than the other three and is very forward thinking and user friendly. Google+ is currently only allowing profiles of people, not businesses.
Your friends here you put into “circles”. You choose to name the circles whatever you want (ex: friends, family, work, prospects, news, etc.) and add people to the applicable circle. When you add a person to a circle they receive a notification that you’ve added them, but they are not told which circle you’ve put them in. When you browse through your news feed you get to sort by circle, choosing to only read family posts or news posts, etc. You also get to choose who sees what you post, you determine which circle of people can see what you type.
Cross market your social media profiles – very important!
Help people find you and all of your social media profiles by providing them with a direct link. Here are just a few places to include profile links:
Email signature: include links to your social media profile in your email signature with either little icons or text links.
Website: most websites have their social media profile icons in a top corner of the site, on the side bar or the contact page, or all three! If you choose to list your profiles in more than one area, use different mediums: icons for one, text links for another, and a widget for another. This will reduce the appearance of duplication.
Blog: this is essentially the same principle as the website profile listings, except you can also add a link to your profiles at the bottom of each blog post.
Social media profiles: yes, really. Sometimes people end up on your profile, yet it is not their preferred social network to be on. By listing your other profiles, the visitor can easily get to your profile on their preferred network. Twitter is an exception, the bio section is simply too small to include this and is better served for your profile information.
Your business and/or you as a professional should be utilizing the exposure from FREE social media networks. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or need any help, about these or any other social media networks.