Social Media for Beginners: How to Build Your Social Media Presence from the Ground Up
Published on October 24, 2013
Maybe you've been feeling a little behind on the social media front. Maybe you've developed company accounts, but haven't yet established your online presence. Maybe Tweeting and sharing feel a little ominous to you.
Not to worry. Here are our 7 steps for social media beginners, or those looking to start having a bigger social media presence.
So...how do I start being active on social media?
The world of social media can seem a little daunting, especially for companies who have yet to really promote their presence. What do you tweet? What kind of Facebook posts do people actually click on? What content should you be providing?
OK, champ. Settle in, take a deep breath. Lets start at the beginning.
Step 1: Brand EVERYTHING
This is the vital first step on your social media journey. All of the activity you will be making on social media sites should be cohesively linked to your company brand. Use your logo, tagline, and company name across social media avenues. Keep the same color scheme. This visual recognition is vital to having your social media activity be noticed and remembered.
Don't forget about your email address! Having a "freebie" email address (like one with an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com suffix) is a good way (a bad way) to undermine your social media brand consistency.
Step 2: Be Everywhere Your Customers Will Be
Not everyone is a fan of all the social media platforms. Regardless about how you feel about reading Tweets or "liking" posts on Facebook, if you find that your customers are there, you should be too.
In general, we recommend our clients be active, minimally, in these four communities:
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+
Bonus points go for those who are active on websites like Pinterest, Yelp, Tumblr, YouTube, and MeetUp. If one of these avenues attract your type of potential clients, focus your attention there.
Step 3: Connect with the people you already know
Start by importing ALL of your past and present email contacts. Then, follow/add them as a friend/connect with them on all of your social media avenues.
You'll feel more secure starting out on the social media world seeing a few friendly faces around. There are the people who know you and will likely share your content if you ask.
In addition, you may already know a good number of workers who are in your field already. Check and see which of these friends are generating a lot of social media activity. You can actively recommend these businesses on your social media base, and additionally find new leads simply by investigating the connections they already have.
Step 4: Get Blogging
We are a huge advocate for blogging as a means to bring in website traffic, as it has effectively been shown to do so. Blog posts are, in addition, another huge way to start gaining new clients and followers.
Blogs provide the essential "3 Cs" of online material: Creative Compelling Content. If you want to generate interest on social media bases, you need to be sharing information that is informative, entertaining, and engage. If your information is useful for a user, you are building a good report. Maybe this will lead to them sharing your content on their own page, signing up for your newsletter, or giving you a call to generate some new business.
If you are not yet blogging, send us an e-mail or give us a call and we can get you well on your way, in most cases taking some of the load off your back.
Step 5: Use Social Media Platforms to LISTEN
This is a principle that many people forget about. We learn how to toot our own horns loudly and frequently on social media platforms, and then wait for customers to come to you.
Instead, we encourage backwards thinking. You can use your various social media accounts to prospect for clients that are, themselves, asking questions or generating content that you can provide insight towards. Read our extensive step-by-step "how to use social media to listen for your customers" article.
Step 6: Share, share, share
Now, its time to get active. You have some blog posts which you can promote on all avenues, so... go ahead and share it. Don't be shy about re-sharing an article either, especially on platforms on Twitter which generate a lot of online "noise" - your one tweet about your one article can get lost in the shuffle, so go ahead and tweet about it with some frequency.
To consistently share content across all platforms, consider using a service like HootSuite. With HootSuite, you're able to send one message at once to all of your social media platforms, or schedule out social media activity throughout the week.
Step 7: Stay Active!
It is most important to continue to generate consistent activity on all of your social media platforms, especially once you get going. Social media activity is equivalent to giving your company a voice on the internet. Don't be shy about engaging with clients and other company's activity either - a simple re-tweet, like, or share can make all the difference.
Need help getting started? Interested in getting some blog activity generated? Send us an e-mail, or give us a call!