Social media isn't a fad - it's one of the most exciting marketing tools at your disposal. Not sure how to work it? Here are six basics to get you started:
1. Create a social strategy
Create a plan for your social media to follow. This means choosing which social networks to use, when and how often. Social media is partially trial and error, but with a defined purpose! Make changes to your strategy as you go, but don't overthink it.
2. Establish your voice
Social media is great for broadcasting interesting content, relevant articles, fun pictures or timely topics but don't forget to present all of your content with interactivity in mind. Always listen to your audience and create opportunities for them to respond to your posts, not just read them. You can make any piece of content interactive - so make sure you do.
3. Engage your audience
Have fun with your social media voice! Social media is conversational and smart, fun and informative and never meant to be boring or ordinary. Think about what sets you apart and incorporate it into your messaging. Remember to steer clear of sounding like an advertisement or a lecture - keep it casual but professional.
4. Think quality not quantity
Remember to put out only the best content that you find helpful for your audience. There is no formula for how many social networks you should use or how often you should update, but it's best to stick with what makes sense for your brand. It's better to have one solid and consistent social network than several sparsely updated ones.
5. Set realistic expectations
Don't be discouraged if you don't see an immediate surge in activity and followers - practice patience and stick to your social media strategy. The more you use social media, the more you'll see the organic growth of your effort.
6. Measure your success
Pay attention to your analytics, numbers and responses. Likes, comments and shares are Facebook's currency, but don't get too stuck on numbers. Numbers grow as engagement grows, so stick to your strategy, monitor your numbers monthly (daily, weekly) and measure your success in terms of qualitative feedback.
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