The biggest mistake most businesses make when beginning a social-media campaign is believing they know how to begin a social-media campaign. Knowing nothing more than it’s easy and takes no more than 10 minutes to get started may get your page up and your phone number in the right spot, but then what?
Unfortunately, like anything else, to be successful requires a little advance planning, research, and know how. No, you don’t need a degree in computer science. But it helps to familiarize yourself with the terminology, the concept, and what has worked for others.
Here’s a quick three-step guide to what it is, what works, and what it takes to succeed …
Know What: You’ve heard that Facebook is hugely popular, so that’s a good place to start, right? Well do you want to set up a page or a profile? There’s a difference and knowing it is the difference between building your business and building a collection of your most embarrassing photos. Know the terms, the capabilities, and the purpose of each. Take a look at the definition of a blog and how that’s different from micro-blogging or what an RSS feed is and how it can help fill out your social-media profiles. You don’t need to become an expert but familiarizing yourself a bit more with what things are and how they’re used can help you build a plan that fits with your plan and works for your business.
Know Why: Which brings us to the next step … Building success online means keeping up communications and giving people a reason to visit your pages. Having a lot of empty space on the Internet won’t build your business. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about social media is that having your links spread across the web is the ultimate goal and you’re done once you’ve got your pages set up. A Twitter page isn’t an advertisement and, if it were, it wouldn’t be a good one without the tweets. Don’t bother setting up the pages if you aren’t going to use them. Or start with something you can handle, or that fits your business, and build from there. Start smart and small.
Know How: The key to social-media marketing success is understanding that it isn’t advertising. Think of it as a magazine that you’re publishing. You wouldn’t attract any readers if your magazine had no articles and, instead, was only advertisements for the same business, page after page. In other words, you have to produce content that people will want enough to return to your page for updates. The content is bait. You have to have something to offer before you can expect your social-media campaign to show measurable benefits. Empty profiles and links to your other web pages won’t bring you business. Having an interactive, informative, and entertaining presence online will.