Getting Started With Social Media

Social media gets a lot of coverage, but what is it and why all the fuss?

Lets imagine your at a party –  the kitchens full and everyone’s talking about what they’ve been doing, where they’re going on holiday and the problems they’ve had over the last week. You commiserate, congratulate and then go into the lounge to grab something to eat. After a handful of nuts and a piece of quiche, you notice there’s hardly anyone there, you’re practically on your own, so you go back to where its all happening, in the kitchen.

Social media is the equivalent of whats going on in the kitchen. And the food in the lounge, is your website – where people go when they’ve made their mind up they want something.

By using social media to engage with prospects, explain about new products and services and provide customer support, you’ll not only be creating great awareness for your brand, you’ll also be influencing your fans to buy from you and not your competitors.

But social media is only effective when you build strong relationships with your followers, engaging with them in a way that encourages conversation and by regularly participating, so its not for the faint hearted.

But neither is your business.

Social media costs nothing, but blindly jumping on the band wagon without a strategy, knowing what you’re doing, or how to measure results will cost you dearly. At the very least it will be a waste of time or resources, but it can also be damaging to your reputation and business if done badly. So before you begin your campaign consider the following:

  1. Who will be responsible for managing the campaign
  2. What do you want to achieve – sales, brand awareness, provide customer support
  3. What channels are your target market using
  4. What message do you want to convey and the tone (friendly, formal, expert)
  5. How will you manage negative comments and have contingency plan if things go wrong

This can all be a little bit daunting, but addressing these issues means you’re prepared for when, or if they happen.

Whether you like it or not social media is here to stay and people will be talking about your brand online. Learning to manage those conversations and being an ambassador for your brand will encourage new customers to buy from you, keep you ahead of the competition and help enormously with research and development.