How To Start With Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Oh, my!

How To Start With Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Oh, my!

How To Start With Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Oh, my!

For small businesses just starting out, creating a presence on social media can seem overwhelming. You know you need to do it. You know it’s important. But where do you begin? Simply creating an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ isn’t enough. Social media is about sharing, interacting and building a following.

The first step in joining the social media world is to figure out the objective of your social media presence. It doesn’t matter if you update your Facebook status every 10 minutes if no one is reading it or the information you’re posting serves no purpose.

Create your social media plan of attack by asking yourself who, what, where, when and why.

Who is your target audience?

By determining your audience, you’ll also be able to establish your voice. When you’re using social media, figure out who you’re talking to. You may have multiple target audiences and these audiences can change depending on the social media platform you’re using, but you should always have your audience in mind when posting content.

What do you want to say?

Decide what you want to tell your audience. Although individual posts will vary, it’s important to create brand harmony. You’ll want to identify the overall message you’d like to convey to your audience and create posts that reinforce this message. When determining what information you’d like to share, it’s critical to remember your overall objective and the audience you’re sharing the information with. It’s also important to think about how you are going to reply to followers. Because social media promotes two-way conversations, replying to customers is key. Twitter bird icon Although you won’t know ahead of time what customers are going to say or ask you, you should still consider the voice you want to have in your replies.

Where to share?

As you’re creating your social media objective, think about where and how you’re going to share the information. For example, when sharing information on Twitter, you’re only allowed 140 characters, whereas Facebook posts can be much longer.

When to post?

It’s important to post frequently and consistently. Plan ahead – make a list of the topics or information you’d like to share and then put the topics on a calendar. By organizing your posts in a calendar format, you will be able to keep your content fresh and relevant.

Why you are using social media?

Perhaps the most important step in creating your social media objective is identifying why you’re using social media. Twitter bird icon Do you wish to increase sales? Are you seeking to become an authority in your industry? Having a clear objective from the very beginning helps ensure that you’re always posting with a purpose.

Once you’ve created an objective for your social media campaign, it’s time to start posting and interacting with followers. When you’re first starting out, your social media accounts can feel more intimate and you’ll have the opportunity to communicate and connect with followers on a more personal level. This is a great opportunity to learn about your audience and establish a sense of brand loyalty amongst them.

Hannah Reid
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