Looking forward to the lazy hazy days of summer? Can’t wait for those days of lounging in the back yard, soaking up the sun, watching the world go by? What a great time to make some new friends and influence people from the comfort of your lawn chair! If you have a laptop or tablet and a wireless connection, you can finally fulfil that promise you made to yourself to get better at being a social media butterfly and catch a few rays at the same time.
Here are my top 10 tips for getting started with social media this summer – tackle them one at a time as summer unfolds, and by the fall, you will have a basic social media presence for your business.
10. Start with the Big 3 – set up a professional Facebook page, which can be set to post automatically to your Twitter account, which then feeds your LinkedIn profile. You may already have these accounts. Are their icons on your website, but the accounts are very quiet? Not for long!
9. Complete your profiles on each platform – and yes – please include a current professional picture of yourself. How else will I recognize you as the face of your business at the next business networking event?
8. Follow/friend/like your business connections on your business accounts. Like they say in Ghostbusters, “don’t cross the streams” – while you want to be your authentic and engaging self, your business channels are not the place for family conversations.
7. Take a look at your industry peers and competition – follow them, see what they are doing and what’s happening in your industry.
6. Connect to the major players in your business community – the Chambers of Commerce (local, regional, national), the relevant Government Dept. for your industry, networking groups you belong to, local power brokers & influencers, business writers in your local media.
5. Find something interesting, and comment on it or share it.
4. Repeat #5 until you feel confident to create your own post – that will happen when you read something, hear something or think of something that becomes the foundation of your first solo post. If someone comments, respond to their comment.
3 Write another post – and repeat at least once a week. Work up to once a day – whenever you have a thought or idea that you want to tell others, that’s fodder for your next post. I carry a little pad of paper where I am learning to capture my fleeting thoughts that become posts.
2. Now that you have arrived, talk to your web designer about putting social media icons on your website, if they aren’t there already. Let the crosspollination do the heavy lifting for you until you are able to branch out and manage each stream individually a few minutes each day.
1. Carry on with posting, and commenting and sharing something at least a couple times a week. Social media is meant to be conversational, not broadcast advertising or hyper-promotional, so don’t feel like you have to “push” your products and services, just talk about interesting things related to your business, with a bit of your own personality thrown in there from time to time to keep it warm and human.
Congratulations – you’ve built the Social Media for Business habit over the summer! Now you’re ready to get back into the full Fall Focus swing of things with some new tools in your toolkit, some new connections in your business community and some new channels to talk about what makes your business unique and vital to your clients.
Social media is pretty self-manageable, but if you need some additional professional help with graphics, crosspollination or strategy building, we can help. Modern Earth Web Design offers a full range of social media consulting services, bundled in packages that fit almost any budget. Call Jennifer at 204-885-2469 for more info, or email firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re here if you need us.