Still meaning to start your social plan? Maybe you have been secretly wishing social media would go away by now. Maybe you just haven’t had the time or maybe you’re waiting until after your next project. Whatever the reason (or excuse!), getting started is the hardest part. Other than finding the time to start your campaign, I find that most businesses are simply overwhelmed by the high volume of social media information and the constant changes.
Don’t let that hold you back, because social media is not going away anytime soon, so here are five simple ways to get started!
Set realistic expectations. In case you haven’t heard, social media is not magic. You will need to be realistic about your goals and expectations, about how to measure them, and when to make changes. Be sure to set a clear goal such as “use Facebook contests to increase traffic to my store by five percent in the next three months.” Setting a blanket goal such as “more customers and more money” will leave you feeling defeated.
Start small. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen business owners make is trying to take on too much, too soon. Rather than setting up 10 accounts to keep track of, pick one or two to start. Monitor and track your progress. Once you have a feel for what’s working or not working, make changes as necessary.
Set a date. Set a “coming out” date for launching your brand on social media. Using this date as a focal point, start backward in your planning so you can assure you will meet your timeframe. Be sure to build up yourself – and your current audience – for this launch date!
Devise a plan for going forward. Now that you have everything in the place, the biggest step will be maintaining your presence. First, block off some time in your daily calendar to keep up with social media marketing. Take that time to check out what your audience and peers are posting, write your content, monitor your competition and strategize ways to keep your content fresh and relevant. For the latter, I recommend a monthly editorial calendar. This will help you focus your content on a specific topic, which is great for both consistency and determining what to post.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. One great thing about social media is the ability to solicit feedback from others. Have a question about a Facebook page for your business? Not sure if you are on the right track? Throw it out there on your newsfeed and allow your peers to answer! Facebook and LinkedIn have answers tools and FAQ’s.
If you get stuck, remember the golden rule: Is this of value to my audience?
What other suggestions do you have for getting started with social media marketing?