Getting started with social media for your business

Getting started with social media for your businessHow do you go about getting started with social media for your business? Do you post the same stuff on all the popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest? Do you write a blog and try to promote it? How do you ever sell anything from your efforts? How do you measure results? Whether it’s the array of platforms available, the technology itself, or an uncertainty of what you’d like to say, this series of nine posts will demystify what it can do for you and your business.

1) – social media is simply a vehicle used to assist your inbound marketing. So instead of selling health club memberships using a billboard, we need to give people a great reason to listen to seek us out online. Think about the mass marketing we all experience. You’ll see TV ads for pickup trucks and beer when you’re watching NFL football, and ads for cleaning supplies and appliances when you’re watching HGTV. Traditional mass marketing (e.g., billboards, TV ads, radio ads, magazine ads) tells a whole lot of people the same message and hopes you’re catching the right people at the right time. You know what? It’s a great method if you have a marketing budget more than 99 cents.

2) – keep your audience in mind with your content. When was the last time you went online and said, “Ok Google, just take me anywhere you’d like?” As the Internet has evolved it has become almost exclusively a platform for people to find exactly what they want. So if you’re really into baking, as opposed to going online and simply typing, “Baking,” you might search for something specific like “How do I bake better chocolate chip cookies?” Your audience will start to find your content when you start to solve their problems by way of your expertise.

3) – don’t be afraid of trying a lot of stuff that might not work. You know things on the Internet will live forever, right? But, you’re going to be playing in an enormous sandbox that is growing at a staggering rate every day.  Did you know that over 100 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute? Do you suppose all of these videos are on par with Gone With The Wind or The Shawshank Redemption? You can find some comfort knowing that what you’re putting out there is never ever going to be as bad as this one.

So – absolute worse case scenario – you put something online that will be ignored or forgotten. What did it cost you to try it?

The next post will expand on the idea of getting started with social media for your business by discussing the social media companies’ motivations. How do Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest make money by offering you a free way to promote your business? What questions do you have on how best to get started? Please share your comments or questions by clicking “leave a comment.”

Spencer X Smith

Spencer helps you save time through teaching digital marketing and social media strategies in plain English, after proving they actually work for himself first. He also is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and a columnist for InBusiness.

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