8 Business Starter Tips for Social Media Success

by Ron on November 27, 2012

Guest post by Jimmy Wentz

image courtesy of blog.hubspot.com

Social media today has quite a powerful influence in our world. It can topple regimes, make and break careers, and even help elect a president However, diving into social media, especially for first-timers, can prove to be a daunting (even scary) task. New business owners (especially those that are not very tech-savvy) can find it quite a challenge to not only put their business on the social media map but to also keep up with the inevitable flood of conversations that will happen (and they will happen) around your business, both good and bad.

Setting up a Facebook page, Twitter account, or a Pinterest board for your new business should not be just an afterthought. You need to make sure you are on the right platform to engage your existing customers while converting new ones. So how do you do social media the right way? Here are eight (8) tips to get your started.

1. Start Small

You need not sign-up for each and every social media and social networking site on the planet. Focus on the ones where you think most of your customers would be hanging-out, so to speak. Having 3 social media accounts that attracts a highly qualified audience or builds a community that is deeply invested in your brand or business is infinitely better than 20 obscure social media presences from lesser-known or less-relevant platforms. Don’t be hesitant to start small.

2. Have A Strategy

It goes without saying that having a strategy is essential for any kind of business.  As with any undertaking, you should have clearly defined objectives. What is your niche? Who is your audience? What kind of content would you put on social media to attract customers? What tools will you use to monitor your social media presence and progress and the conversations that happens around your brand? These are very important questions to help you succeed socially online.

Here is a downloadable template that you can use to begin devising your social media strategy.

3. Thou Shall Not Spam

Nobody likes spam. No one wants to see irrelevant advertisements that are repeatedly regurgitated on Facebook or Twitter. Spam and advertisements are not the reason people liked your page or followed you. They want to know the latest news about your new business, know more about your story, your struggles and achievements. People want to see how your brand can address their needs or be of value to their lifestyle.

Put relevant and interesting content (videos, articles, images, etc.) instead.  Setup an online promo, Interact and begin conversations to build up your new business.

4. Choose Your Platform

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus are, by now, essential platforms for many businesses online. Each has their unique advantages for every kind of business; you just have to know which one matches yours.

Facebook is community focused and is a great way to build brand loyalty. Twitter keeps things short and sweet, perfect for real-time updates. LinkedIn serves a more professional crowd while Pinterest is filled with interesting imagery for the more creatively inclined. Foursquare can get you more foot-traffic if you utilize it wisely (i.e. store check-in promos).

Do your homework and study which sites would most likely have your target market’s attention.

5. Find Your Audience

Find where people who take interest in what you offer are gathering. See what kind of people socialize in certain networks and mingle with them while promoting your services and products. It’s one of the benefits of social media networking. Know who your customers are and make them your regulars.

Here is a quick infographic to give you an idea of the top social media sites that people use.

6. Learn From The Pros

It’s also a good idea to learn from companies that have done well on social media. Notable examples include Dell, Burberry, Samsung, Amazon, Red Bull, and Coca Cola. Learn how they interact with their customers and check out how they advertise their offers. As you learn the trade, size up the competition and show your rivals that you have the edge.

7. Listen and Respond

Always know what your customers say in your business pages. They will make comments and suggestions or ask questions related to your services and products. Make sure your business is credible and trusted. Respond to their feedback and answer their questions promptly. You will be surprised at how a quick reply to a comment or negative tweet can make all the difference in how your customers feel about your business. If you have many social media sites, it is best to use a social media dashboard like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or Sproutsocial to help you manage your accounts and even schedule posts and updates.

8. Have Patience

Don’t expect tens of thousands of followers and fans overnight.  Building your new business on social media requires time and a great deal of patience. Focus instead on making each and every interaction between your business and your customers a positive and memorable one.

Jimmy Wentz is a budding freelance tech writer, gadget and gaming enthusiast, and social media junkie. He writes regularly about O2 and the latest news in the tech, gaming, and the social media world.  

Connect with Jimmy on Google+ and Twitter.

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