Mastering Social Media for your Business

Mastering Social Media for your BusinessAlmost every business today wants to get involved in Social Media Marketing. They see that their customers and target audience are using all kinds of social networking platforms to communicate with each other, with the companies they like, and maybe even with their competitors. I’ll admit – the whole thing can be pretty daunting if you’re just getting into social media for the first time. But rest assured, it’s not as complicated as you might think. What follows is a short course we call Social Media Marketing for Beginners.

A few questions before we begin …

Does your business have a
Facebook page?

How about a Twitter
account?

How about you personally?

Got a Facebook? Twitter?
Pinterest? Instagram?
While it’s not critical that you have personal social media accounts in order to be successful in the business world, it does help to understand the particular culture of each social media channel. Not all channels are right for each business. You need to evaluate if who you want to reach is using that form of social media or not.

Here are a few steps to help you get your business’ social media marketing off on the right foot for 2014.

First: Get a Facebook page for your business
Once you set up your business page, get the vanity URL for your company name if it is available. For example, if your company name is Flower Shop and your website is FlowerShop.com – you will you’re your Facebook URL to be facebook.com/flowershop. If your particular business name is not available, choose something as close as possible. This is important for branding purposes.

Second: Use professional quality images that belong to you
Nothing says a customer shouldn’t take you seriously like bad or poor quality images. Invest in your business and NEVER LOOK SMALL. Use quality images that you took (or purchased), and that are relevant to your industry. Use the right size images for your logo as well and be professional in all that you do online. Always put your best foot forward.

Third: Take a break from selling
Add value to the social networking communities you will be participating in. People get very annoyed if all you are trying to do is sell, sell, sell. Social media marketing is not about being self-serving, it is about building relationships.

Fourth: Create great content
Social media marketing is the perfect opportunity to distribute timely, relevant content for your followers. It could be from your blog or other articles you’ve written and posted online, or it could be a great video you’ve made. Even after the latest Google Penguin updates, content is still king.

Fifth: Track everything!
Use the analytics tools that are available to you to find out where your successes came from. Google Analytics is completely free and provides more useful tracking data than you can shake a stick at.
Sixth: Get comfortable
Get comfortable with one social networking platform before you jump into any others. Learn your way around, see what works and doesn’t work and, once you have established some loyal followers who are engaged in your brand, you can choose to do more on another channel. This way, you do not over-extend yourself and get frustrated and give up before you’ve really had a chance to get in your groove.

We love to see businesses succeed in their marketing efforts! There are many channels available for social media marketing for beginners – it’s just a matter of taking the first step. Remember to be to be consistent and to use great content, and you will be well on your way to social media marketing success!
Grif Blackstone is the publisher of the Good News, the largest Christian newspaper in Florida and the president of Blackstone Media Group, a full service web design and marketing company. To contact him , email him at [email protected] or
954-323-6737.

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