6 Steps to becoming social media savvy
So you’ve finally decided you need to do something about social media? Everyone else is doing it and frankly if you play the “I’m too old to learn this game” any longer you’re going to become a bit of a joke. But it’s all so overwhelming! I mean really, where do you start?
Well keep calm and carry on reading. We’ve put together six key steps to help you on the road to social media success. Take it slowly and remember – it’s not rocket science. (It’s mostly just good old-fashioned common sense!)
1. Choose your channels
Different social media channels have different purposes and attract different communities. You need to establish a presence on those channels which are used and trusted by your clients, partners and other industry professionals. If you’re running a toy shop you probably don’t need to bother with LinkedIn. If you provide care services to the elderly we don’t need to see you on Tumblr. Be smart about it, but not too smart. Remember – it’s just common sense.
If you are pushed for time, there is no point in trying to be active on every possible social media channel and driving yourself mad trying to keep up with what’s going on. You’ve got a business to run after all! If you’re not sure where to start, try the big guys first – Facebook & Twitter. Then you can branch out to LinkedIn and Google + when you get more confident.
2. Learn the language
Just because you’re using social media you don’t have to adopt text speak or try to pick up all of the latest teenage trends. Use good English, but write appropriately for your channel. Always remember it’s your voice we need to hear.
Apart from getting the right tone of voice, you should take a little time to learn the language and conventions of whichever social media channel you are using. If you are using Twitter, you need to know your handles from your hashtags! Make sure you always give credit to the original author. When you refer to external articles use a shortcode link. Use hashtags so your posts can be found – #but #don’t #over #do #it!
3. Keep it regular
When it comes to an effective social media strategy, consistency is key. That doesn’t mean posting the same boring adverts or cat photos over and over again. Your audience will develop an expectation of how frequently you will be publishing information, what subjects you will be writing about and when you will be posting. Pick out a few key topics and be disciplined about sticking to a plan. Little and often goes a long way!
4. Listen. Learn. Listen again.
Whatever your business might be, you really have only one goal – to satisfy your customers’ needs. Social media gives you the opportunity to tell them about what you can do, but it also gives you the chance to hear their opinions. Social media is not about broadcasting, it’s about a conversation with your customers, your partners, their friends and the wider community.
Listen to what your customers want. If you can identify their needs and find a way to meet them efficiently and effectively, you are on to a winner!
5. Be yourself.
You already have an existing brand identity – the goal is to re-create that in an online environment. The brands who are most successful on social media are those who already understand who they are and communicate that through a clear voice and a consistent message.
Shakespeare had it about right when he wrote “to thine ownself be true”. Don’t try to be something you’re not. What customers value most of all is integrity. Behind every successful social media brand is a business that leaves and breathes those brand values on a daily basis. Be yourself!
6. Be positive.
Be a force for good in the world! Have a positive outlook and be constructive and helpful towards others within your community. If someone does you a favour, say thank you. If there are people you could help out by putting them together, make an introduction. Share useful information and news. Be generous with your time and your comments and others will reciprocate.
Avoid fights – at all costs. If someone says something that gets under your skin, remember Mark Twain’s wise words: “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
So you now have all you need to get started in the world of social media. Come and join the conversation!
6 STEPS TO SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS
- Choose your channels
- Learn the language
- Keep it regular
- Listen. Learn. Listen again.
- Be yourself.
- Be positive