I recently participated in an interview about getting started in social media for small businesses who are just beginning to tackle the whole area of building connections with an online audience.
Here are 5 1/2 tips to help you get started on the Social Media journey.
1) Start Where Your Customers Are
Doesn’t it seem like a new site comes out every few days?
Take a deep breath!
How to you know where to start without having your head explode?
It’s simple. Go to where your customers hang out.
- That’s the place to get started.
Don’t know where that is?
Ask some of them:
- Which social media is your favorite?
- How often do you check it out?
2) Know Your Purpose
Why are you going to various sites?
- Are you observing what people are talking about?
- Learning what their “pain points” are?
Or maybe you are ready to start engaging with them about your products or services.
Live intentionally, even in the virtual world.
Know what you are trying to accomplish before you start.
3) Be True to Yourself
If you’re an introvert, you don’t need to suddenly become extroverted-just because it’s social media.
- Be who you are.
If you don’t want to be the star of the show, start by just commenting on what other people are saying.
Let those relationships grow at the speed you are comfortable with.
4) Make It A Conversation
Nobody likes someone who only talks about themselves.
Just like the offline world, a good conversationalist asks questions that spark a response.
Ask questions that require engagement:
- “Have you ever…”
- “Who do you know…”
- “Tell me about when…”
Connecting means more than just saying “Here I am…I’m so wonderful-now buy my stuff”
5) Stop While You Are Ahead
Social Media can be a huge, unproductive time-suck. There, I said it.
Limit your time to 10-20 minutes a day. You can do it. Really!
You don’t really need more than that to be effective…IF you go in with a plan of what you’re going to do there.
If you let yourself run wild-(oh look- new vacation pictures, oh look-words with friends) you can spend hours and hours with little to show for it.
Have a way to cut yourself off.
- Set a timer.
- Have the alarm go off on your phone.
Use any means to pry yourself away from the imagined urgency of the online world.
5 ½) Is Conversion a Myth?
I’m wonder if social media is over-rated when it comes to converting people into actual customers.
- What has been your experience?
Have you ever really turned your social media contacts into buyers?
- If so, tell us about what worked for you in the comments section below.
Lucy Morgan CPA