The number one question we get from beginners is; "How do I get started?"
There are so many social media websites out there, and we understand it can be very intimidating. The Social Media Square One objective is to reduce those stress levels, and make the online process not only profitable for you, but fun too! We would like to share with you 7 tips for getting started with your social media marketing plan.
Use Your Real Name - For some reason, buying a product or service from "HotMama352" does not seem very attractive. Make sure to use your real name when signing up for social accounts. If your name is taken, then it would be acceptable to add some numbers so that it is still recognizable. For example, if your name is a common one like John Smith, it would be OK to use JohnSmith950.
A Photo of You - When choosing an avatar (profile photo) make sure to pick a one that is fun and representative of your professional personality. People do not want to do business with a logo, cartoon, pet or eyeball. Let them see your beautiful face so they know who they are talking to. People are more responsive when they can put a face to a name.
Know Your Audience - Many small business owners are working hard to sell to anybody and everybody in order to increase revenue. While this has you working hard and achieving some amount of success, we know that identifying your target market is one of the most important things a business can do. With so many social networks out there, you want to find the ones that your customers and prospects are using. For example, you might hear that a site like Myspace is out of favor in the social media world, but for a musician, it is still a must. On the other hand, if you want to target the 13-17 year old demographic, LinkedIn might not be the best place to be spending your time. Our advice is to do some research, find out where your customers and prospects are spending their time, and get yourself set up on those social networks as soon as possible so that you can jump into the conversation and start generating leads!
Listen - Once you are a member of the social networks, take the time to listen to what the community is talking about. If you jump in and use the platform with a megaphone to sell your product or service, your credibility will be lost. There is nothing virtual about this online social world, these are real people having real conversations. So act in the same way you would at a live networking event in your hometown. If you would not bombard me with a sales pitch at a live event, don't do it inside of social media either.
Build Relationships - People want to do business with others they like, know and trust. Social media gives us an amazing platform to earn that trust by simply taking the time to build great relationships with them. Just like in real life, this takes time. You must share something about yourself. Don't be afraid to talk about your likes, interests and passions. Nobody wants to do business with a logo or pushy salesperson, so open up and start making friends. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing there is, and you have almost 500 million people out there with the potential to become brand ambassadors for your company. Let's make the most of it by caring about the people, creating value, and showing them that we are here to meet their needs.
Don't Worry About the Numbers - If you only have a couple of hundred people in your network, do not let that get you down. The key is to target your followers, and many times less can be more. We have seen people time and time again try to automate the process in order to increase their friend/followers, but most of the time it leads to a large number filled with bots, spammers, and vacant accounts that bring no value to you, your business, or the community.
Budget Your Time - Minutes can quickly turn into hours on social networks if you are not careful. Many people get caught up playing Facebook games like FarmVille, surfing YouTube for hours watching funny videos, or hitting the refresh button over and over waiting on responses from a post. Our advice is to log in with a set time goal and stick to it.
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