Five Steps To Get Started in Social Media





Five Steps To Get Started in Social Media

From my previous blog posts, you know that I believe 100 per cent in social media as a tool to extend the reach of your business or ministry.  Because I’m “all in,” people often ask me: “How do I get started in social media?”  If you are like many people, you have a Facebook account and most likely frequent one other social media platform.  The effectiveness of these social media tools is dependent, first in choosing the right platforms and then in strategically using those platforms to achieve your purpose.  But before we begin I want to be totally candid with you. Are you ready?

The most important thing to remember:

If you expect to succeed through social media, YOU MUST BE COMMITTED!

You shouldn’t start it unless you are willing to invest time and resources into it.

Still in?  Great.  Next, we’ll go through the following five-point checklist.  By the time we’re finished you’ll have all you need to get started in social media.

1.    Choose your platform

Each social media platform has unique advantages for differing uses and audiences.  You can be successful with each one individually, but you also need to determine which ones are best for your specific purpose.   I have found that I have the greatest success by using several platforms thus covering many bases.

Let’s review the platforms:

a. Facebook provides a highly personal way for businesses to connect with their clients.  It’s a great platform for creating your brand – how people think about your business, and marketing your service or product.  Facebook pages can be used to speak with your customers.  And Facebook “Groups,” can create mini-communities for the purpose of an ongoing conversation about what’s important to your groups of customers with common needs or interests.

b. Twitter, on the other hand, focuses on group-oriented and concise communication through its micro-blogging service.  Messages are “tweeted” in bursts of 140 characters or less.  Twitter reaches a much broader audience and with the use of hashtags, specific topics can be targeted. Twitter allows you to connect and have conversations with people from anywhere in the world who share your interests. It’s a great site for finding out what is “trending” in the world conversation, and for finding and discovering niches specific to your business.

c. Pinterest is all about images and creative flair.  It is a great place to showcase your interests, personal and professional, in a single site.  You can create Pinterest boards to collect and display images relating to everything from inspirational quotes, home decor, and photography to marketing. It’s a great place to capture and drive traffic to your website.

d. LinkedIn is more business-like – direct and to the point. Your profile is much like a resume.  Through LinkedIn you can broadcast professional activities to your connections.  Professionals from small business owners and freelancers to CEOs of major Fortune 500 corporations frequent this platform. It is the online version of a networking event but with the built-in safeguards of entry and introductions through known and trusted associates.  LinkedIn is ideal for connecting both with potential employers and clients.

e. Google+ is still too new to define.  Being part of Google, we can say it has great Search Engine Optimization (SEO) possibilities. While the typical user profile has not yet emerged, it is said that more men than women use Google+.  As part of the Google brand, Google+ has great growth potential.  It certainly won’t hurt you to join this emerging network, but for now, Facebook and Twitter have the greatest number of users.

2.    Professionally brand your social media presence

I have had to learn this through trail and error, but I’m finally on my way.  I am convinced of the importance of having a professional graphic designer create a branded presence for all my social media platforms. You’ll be seeing my social media look change in the weeks to come.

3.     Be consistent in everything that you do from platform to platform

To succeed you need to gain your client’s trust.  To gain your clients’ trust you must be consistent, which requires diligence.  Part of your brand becomes being the person who is always there when your clients want to interact.  If you’re not willing to be consistently present and interactive, there are others who are.  And your friends/followers/connections will find them, just as they found you.

4.    Position yourself as an authority

As your “online real estate,” your blog is your greatest asset.  It is the place that people come to visit you, to assess your image, and to see what you have to say. To gain authority through your blog, you must post fresh, high-quality content at least twice a week.

5.    Give more than you receive

Giving is a biblical principle that works for everyone. Make it your goal to help as many people as possible. If you need your first client, help someone free of charge. It’s a great way to begin to master the social media learning curve with all of its subtleties and nuances.  As you are faithful in the small things such as commenting on others’ blog posts and retweeting others’ tweets, they will do the same for you and your reach will spread.

So, what do you think?  Are you ready to get started in social media?  I’d love to hear what platforms you’ve chosen.  In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting tips and suggestions for implementing individual social media platforms.  Please let me know through your comments how I can serve you through this blog.

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  1. matthew Reed says:

    Great content Olga. I’d also say exploring a blog of your own should be a factor in anyone’s professional social media toolbox.
    I’ve heard Michael Hyatt describe it as your blog being your homeland and your outposts on FB/Twitter/Linkedin etc as outposts or embassies in other nations.

  2. Sherie says:

    Wonderful steps for getting started on social media, Olga!

  3. Great tips, Olga. I agree with you… Thanks!

  4. Great steps Olga! You’ve laid everything out very clearly so that it’s easy to understand.

  5. Thanks for the great info here Olga. I agree that it’s important to be seen as an authority in your field – social media allows us to reach out with authenticity and passion for what we do!

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