Hassle-Free Tips to Get Your Business Started on Social Media

By on September 1, 2014

By Kayla Matthews –

Scratching your head when it comes to social media? It may seem overwhelming, but starting your social media campaign is just like riding a bike: you begin with training wheels, learn how it’s done, get comfortable and eventually explore trickier routes.

Similarly, you’ll want to enter social media slowly and comfortably, and work your way toward the more complicated act of balancing platforms. If you really don’t know what I’m talking about or are unsure of exactly where to start your social media campaign, here are some hassle-free tips:

Learn About the Options

Part of your angst may have to do with the multitude of social media outlets to choose from. It’s true: there are lots. Learning about each platform will prove advantageous before you move forward. Here’s a brief summary of some of the most popular social media sites:

Facebook

  • Straightforward setup and maintenance
  • Personalized, informal
  • Lots of engagement and millions of fellow users
  • Allows for pictures and text

Twitter

  • Setup and maintenance a bit more complicated due to platform-specific jargon
  • Personalized, informal
  • Lots of engagement and millions of fellow users
  • In-the-moment advertising
  • Allows for pictures and 140-character (very short) textual posts

LinkedIn

  • Straightforward setup and maintenance
  • Professional network, formal

Pinterest

  • Straightforward setup and maintenance
  • Photos, photos, photos (fashion, home goods, general décor, crafts, etc.)
  • Personalized, informal

YouTube

  • A bit more complicated setup and maintenance (it takes more time to produce videos than write brief textual content)
  • Video-based network

Google+

  • Straightforward setup and maintenance
  • Similar to Facebook but less engagement and fewer fellow users
  • Allows for pictures and text

There are tons more, of course, and these should not be overlooked. If you’re targeting a niche market, explore the options specific to that market. For example, if your company is travel-focused, consider TripAdvisor or Expedia. Google companies like your own to see what others are doing on social media.

Start Small

You don’t need to take on every platform at once. Start with just one. Which one do you think would serve you best? Which one intimidates you the least?

Facebook is arguably the easiest type of social media to start and maintain, especially if you’re not super computer savvy. Plus, there are millions of people using Facebook, so even if you find it terribly confusing, you’re bound to know someone who can help you.

Evaluate Your Available Time

Running a successful social media campaign will take time. Uploading one post each week, depending on which outlet you’ve chosen, won’t be enough to sustain decent interest or engagement. So consider the amount of time you have available.

Facebook posts pretty much gather attention immediately or not at all, so you’ll have to repost content that doesn’t engage users. The same goes for Twitter. With a blog, however, one decent post each week can gain views over time, and be enough to keep readers intrigued.

Consider Professional Help

If you have no time, no clue and are utterly overwhelmed, consider hiring someone to help you. There are people who are paid solely to maintain social media sites. A professional will be able to maximize the effectiveness of your social media efforts but still keep your data secure.

Bringing in someone to help you get started can also serve as a great teaching tool: ask your new hire questions and use him or her as a resource. Just because you decide to hire someone doesn’t mean you won’t learn. You can even contact an IT temp. agency if you want someone to help you get started, but don’t want to hire a new full-time employee.

Cater to Your Audience

You should always keep your audience at the forefront. What sort of content would your customers like to see? Answering this question can really direct your social media efforts, making your wide array of options a little narrower (and more manageable).

If your clientele expect constant, timely updates, consider Twitter. If your customers want pictures, consider Pinterest. If your audience wants to feel engaged, consider Facebook.

If you’re still unsure of where to start, try using a customer survey to determine which social media is best for you. Again, you’ll want to start with just one social media platform in order to best manage it.

Watch the Pros

Keep an eye on companies who use social media well. Where are they present online? What are they doing that seems effective? Taking a lesson from the pros is a great way to get a feel for what works and what flops.

At the end of the day, there is a learning curve and it will take time to become completely comfortable using social media. Just because you didn’t grow up with social media does not mean you’re without hope. With enough practice and direction, you will be running your social media with the confidence of a pro cyclist riding a bike.

 

Kayla Matthews is a business blogger with a passion for social media, human relations and managing the work-life balance. You can read more of her latest posts by following her on Google+ and Twitter.

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Hassle-Free Tips to Get Your Business Started on Social Media