With so much content on the internet, those who aren’t familiar with its inner (and outer) workings, are so often easily puzzled as to how everything fits together; whether you’re using the web for business or as an individual. With so much content, information, and constant hype surrounding the quickly evolving speed and innovation in our communication and the mediums that go along with it—I can’t blame them for thinking that social media for marketing is seemingly cryptic or enigmatic.
Ask the pros, and they will tell you of how difficult it can be to simply explain their career to family members and friends.
Clueless on Social Media?
This post is geared towards helping the nowhere near social-savvy, who want to begin using social media for marketing their brand or business. This is advice to help prime your complete understanding of how social media can help your biz. Since there’s so much ground to cover I’ve broken this post into two parts, where tomorrow I will show you the nitty-gritty breakdown of content and inspiration for it.
Where You Should Start
Like I’ve said, when you’re new to the game, there’s always going to be a huge learning curve. You’re not going to be able to understand (or perfect) using every single platform and service under the sun. Instead, start small with only a few profiles so you can fully give them or it, your full attention. Because, without you paying attention to your accounts, how is anybody going to pay attention to you?
Big Guns = Big Audience
The easiest places to start are the Big Four: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. There’s other “Big Guns” that might suit your business better than others: YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
These are where the largest general audiences are, and these sites are also where your family, friends, and current clientele, are all already participating a whole lot. That’s not even to mention reaching out to–possibly yes–millions of new people. Here’s a taste of what we’re looking at (note: stats from 2011):
Niche Specific Sites
There are also niche-based social sites where, while the overall audience may be smaller as a whole, this may be directly where your target audience–only–is gathering. Depending on your resources, it’s best to not jump into too many hoops at first unless you have a hired professional on your side. This list will show you a good idea of some social platforms that may relate to your niche that you never even knew existed.
Play the Game According to The Rules
Every social platform has its differing qualities and functions for communications and interacting. These differences create loose guidelines for behavior that are (and need to be) followed if you want to succeed on the given social site as a business, brand, blog, or solo-preneur. In my next post, I’m going to get into the basics of the “Big Guns” mentioned above in more detail and how you should be using each particular site with poise and creativity.
But first, here are some general nuances that you should keep in mind that cover just about any social network. As you may have guessed by now, creativity is key. You’ve got to stand out. But How?
Humanize yourself or your brand, adding personality that is honest. Winning people over these days relies on being transparent and down-to-earth. There are plenty of ideas of how to use creativity, but you’ve got to make sure you’re BEING creative. Be friendly, enthusiastic, easy going, personable, charming, relatable, helpful, empathetic, and what’s that last one I’m thinking of? …Social!
Let’s get this out of the way right now: it’s not all about you – and if you make it that way, you’re going to be ignored and labeled as pesky and tacky. It’s all about your audience, showing them content they’d enjoy or display interaction with (themselves, others, or you).
It’s like hosting a party and making a speech or toast, but you and your guests as well, are all going to obviously be mingling and chatting over cocktails.
Adios for now, my friends, and check back tomorrow for Part 2 where I will break down the specifics of being a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, or Pinterest Superstar!
Infographic from creative agency One Lily.