Getting Started with Social Media
If you’re not already using social media to promote your business, you probably have an idea of how it works and its potential. With the various social media platforms that are available and the new ones that are surfacing regularly, figuring out how to get started can be daunting and intimidating. A simple Google search on the subject can generate thousands of results so having a general point of reference can be helpful especially for those that are busy with their business and have little free time. Below are some key points from Kerry Rego’s The Social Media Starter Kit! that I highly recommend to help you get started and keep on track.
- Build a Strategy—Social media is not magic. You’ll have to invest some time determining what social media platforms and strategies are best for your business. Creating an outline with measurable goals can help you keep track of your efforts and help you determine which are most effective.
- Tools, Accounts, and Digital Assets—When you’ve identified your goals, it is important that you’re familiar with the various tools that are available and determine which are best to help promote your business. Some popular tools that may be useful can include Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Again, your goals will be critical in determining which tools are best suited for marketing your business and can potentially save you time and money. Most of these tools are designed to help you keep track and measure your efforts.
- Content Creation—Now that you’ve identified a strategy and tools that you’ll be using to market your business, it’s time to create that content. Kerry identifies seven basic uses of social media tools that should be considered: communication, cause support, contests, consumer research, connecting with others, customer service, and community building. Picking themes for each month of the year will help with putting together a calendar and save you time. Your content can be expressed in the form of an interview, editorial, pictures, definition of terms, and case studies, among other things.
- Timing, Scheduling, and Automation—You’re probably asking yourself—How often should I post? This can vary depending on the type of tool you’re using. Make certain that you’re very familiar with each tool you’ll be using by understanding who uses it, what the culture is like, and how often the average users post. Tools like Hootsuite can help save time by allowing you to schedule postings ahead of time automatically.
- Measuring Performance—It’s important that you’re closely monitoring the performance of your efforts. There are several formulas you can use to determine your return on investment but here’s a simple one you can use: (benefits-costs)/costs = social. For example, 14,000 (response to ad)-$2,000 (cost)/ $2,000 (cost) = 6 or 600% return on investment. Over time, this can help you filter your efforts, from most to least effective.
The Napa Sonoma SBDC regularly conducts free workshops on this and several other business-related topics. You can learn more about these workshops by visiting http://www.napasonomasbdc.org/center-calendar. You can also contact Robert Ramirez, Economic Development Manager, at 707-838-5339, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding this and other business-related items.