Demystifying Digital: How to Get Started with Social Media

Social Media

Demystifying Digital: How to Get Started with Social Media

Social media is a very effective way to communicate your brand to a larger audience, whether you have a shop, an online store or just want to share your art with a larger audience. We’ve put together our tips to get started with social media, or refining your current social media practices to help you achieve your social media marketing goals.

It’s basically free, and you’ll discover your loyal followers and attract new people – just with a simple social media strategy.

Social media has changed the way our entire world works, and can’t be ignored.

Social MediaHow to get started with social media:

Determine your goals.

The most important item to consider is why are you on social media.

  • Do you just want more brand awareness an keep top-of-mind with your target audience?

  • Are you looking for conversion or sales?

  • Is this a way to have ongoing conversations with your target audience?

  • Is this a way for people to reach you regarding customer service?

  • Are you looking for brand influencers and advocates to help you gain awareness?

Knowing why you are on social media helps you determine what to post and how often to post on the different platforms.

 

Determine your online persona.

It’s important to communicate with your followers on social media in a authentic and relevant way.

  • What is your voice? Are you super friendly? A little hip and cool? Or, is that too much for you?

  • What do you do differently than your competition / other players in the field?

  • What is your visual style and brand identity? Take a look, a good look, at some of the social media profiles of brands you admire online. Do they have a look? You’ll see some that always use the same background on their images, or always show happy people. What do you want people to remember about your business?

  • How will you be communicating online? Each social media platform is different, and your posts need to be relevant for the format.

  • What do you want people to think about your brand on these different platforms?

 

Decide on the platforms you want to be on.

You don’t need to be active on all platforms, in fact I recommend you aren’t active on all.

  • Pinterest is a place to store ideas and inspiration. If you are a brand or business about making, you NEED to be on Pinterest. Post all of your pretty projects on Pinterest. Make sure to include a link to your blog or the project so people can find you when the amazing image has been reposted several times.

  • Facebook is for communicating. This is where you announce your upcoming classes, shows, and have conversations with your followers.

  • Instagram is about pretty pictures and inspirations. We’ll do another article about Instagram and hashtags — but for now, just get your pretty pictures up there!

  • LinkedIn is more formal, and you may decide you don’t need to be there. I do recommend putting together a business profile, just so people see you are serious about your business. But, don’t feel like you need to post on LinkedIn.

  • Twitter has become more of a place that is all about immediacy and a conversation.

  • Google+, Snapchat and whatever else is new today — if it is a social platform you enjoy, go ahead and participate, but it’s not necessary for your business.

Depending on your business, you can select which ones you are active with on a regular basis.

If you have a creative business (which I’m assuming you do since you are on Create Whimsy), I recommend the three platforms that you focus on are Instagram with pictures of your amazing work, Pinterest with the same pictures and have a Facebook presence to share your updates with your followers and fans. Twitter and Google+ won’t really move the needle for engaging with your target audience or you business.

 

Assign someone to be responsible for social media

Whether you officially hire a community manager, use an outside firm or share social media between a few people, you need to have someone responsible for social media. Your primary social media accounts need to be monitored daily. Yes, daily.

  • Make sure everyone working on your social media accounts understand your voice and goals. They must have excellent communication skills, – they are the voice of your business. You might even ask for a few samples of how they would respond to a question on social media, or provide a few sample posts for your review. If they aren’t your voice, they won’t do your business any good.

  • Facebook and Instagram must be checked at least 5 days a week for answering and responding to questions – 7 days is best, and check at least more than once a day. They are brand ambassadors, crisis managers, customer service representatives, and develop and write content.

It doesn’t take long to check Facebook and Instagram to see if anyone left you questions or comments, and make sure you respond. Nothing worse than asking a business a question and never hearing from them. Responding quickly helps the visibility of your posts in your followers feeds.

{Side Note: One business I have worked with was affected by Hurricane Harvey. Electricity and phone lines were down, their loyal followers went to Facebook and started asking questions. The good news is I had internet access and was able to communicate the ongoing status of the business with their customers. People turn to social media to ask questions in today’s world.}

 

Take control of your social media.

Community managers monitor online conversations and keep an eye out for certain positive or negative comments. To let a customer’s problem fester and go unanswered on a blog, Twitter or Facebook is asking for trouble because it suggests your company doesn’t care and is not listening to what its customer are saying. Don’t delete negative reviews or feedback, respond instead,

This is your chance to turn negatives into positives and gain valuable feedback.

 

Have a pre-determined crisis management plan.

Crisis can be all kinds of things, like your online store is down, you brick and mortar store is shut down due to weather, etc. In today’s world, people turn to social media to get information and communicate.

  • Social media posts are ‘real-time’ and allows you to take charge and be proactive.

  • Make sure you are listening to your customers when they comment on your social media accounts. Take the time to read between the lines, and see if think if there is anything you should revise.

  • Keep listening. Social media is where the conversation is happening.

  • Empower your community manager to respond to your customers, and make sure there is a back-up if they aren’t available, or taking a day off.

  • Be proactive.

 

It’s no longer a question of whether to socialize your brand and business, but how best to do it. Online presence is key contributor to you businesses overall reputation and success. It’s time to get started with social media!


Have questions?

The Create Whimsy team has worked with some of the largest websites in the U.S., launched and grown new websites from scratch and has helped many small businesses get started in the digital world. We’ve managed on-going website updates, social media marketing, email marketing, as well as provided consultations for site improvements, including SEO audits and recommendations.

Contact us at hello@createwhimsy.com if you are interested in help with your digital marketing.

Read our other blog posts helping to Demystify Digital.

 

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