Because of my background working on social media marketing campaigns for numerous large businesses, small and independent business owners often ask me how they should dive into the social media world. Many of them have little or no experience with social media and some of them may use it but without purpose. Here are 7 general tips I give to them before they take the plunge into social media marketing.
1. Develop a social media marketing plan. Start with your objectives and map out a plan-of-action to meet these objectives. What are you planning to get out of social media marketing? Who and how will you reach your target audience? These are just some of the things you'll want to address in your plan. By organizing your thoughts and ideas, you'll have a roadmap and something to refer back to should you lose focus.
2. Start from the inside out. I always stress to clients that before you pull the trigger on social media you need to be sure that you are ready for it internally. Are you and your staff ready to handle any questions that come through the door? Do you have a crisis communication plan in place should something arise via social media? Do you have the bandwidth to actively keep up with this audience? Who will take ownership of retrieving and posting content?
3. All or nothing. Like a marriage or any relationship that you want to work, social media marketing is most effective when you're committed to it. You either give it your all or don't bother turning the switch on. You'll do more harm than good if you go into it half-heartedly.