For many companies social media is like an elephant in your conference room. It’s there, you can’t ignore it, but you have no idea what to do about it or where to start.
If you’re just starting out, it might feel overwhelming. You know what you need to do and why it’s important. You see that others have tamed their social media elephant, but you have no idea how to get there yourself.
It helps to have a plan.
This is your blueprint to get you started.
Step 1: Choose your social networks
Choosing the social media networks for your business may seem a little overwhelming at first. Each social media channel has its own personality, and the ones that are best for your business depend on your market.
Remember that you don’t have to be on them all, just the ones that matter to you and your audience.
Each social media network has its own unique style and audience. For most businesses Google+ and Facebook are great places to start. Here are some things to consider as you choose which social networks and how many to try:
- Your Market — As with all business communication, it should be built around your target market. Which networks do your potential customers use? Which ones have the right demographic profile for your business? (Pew Research can help you with that part)
- Resources — What do you have to work with? Social channels like Pinterest and Instagram are image-based, so you’ll need a good sized library of photos and images. Google+ and Facebook are also visual but place more emphasis on content and quality of posts.
- Time — How much time can you reasonably devote to your business social media effort? Initially you should budget an hour per day per network. However, that time will be reduced as you become more proficient at posting.
Step 2: Fill out your profiles completely
Making sure that your avatars, cover photos, bio, and profile info are all up-to-date and complete on your business social media pages is vital to your company’s social media success. A complete social profile exhibits cohesive branding and professionalism, and it tells your visitors that you’re serious about engaging with them.
Your profiles will require both text and visuals, and much of what you need is probably already on your company’s website in some form. (If your company doesn’t have a website, let’s get started on that right away!) The visuals used should be consistent across all social channels and your website so that your visitors feel a sense of familiarity. For sizing, there are many social media image size charts out there that you can use. You can also use a tool like Canva, which has templates that set the proper sizes for you.
For the text portion, you want to focus on showing rather than telling. Here’s a great article on how to write a professional social media bio.
Step 3: Find your voice and tone
Before you jump into sharing and posting, you need to establish a consistent voice for your business social media interactions.
Marketing personas are often useful for this. They help you hone in on who your customer is. If you don’t have personas for your company already, no worries! Personas are easy to set up and really useful in your marketing activities.