Get started with Social Media (Social Media for Sceptics)

Talking rubbish to a mass of people is not really my thing.

And finding the time to do so is still a mystery to me.

That’s why I was a little slow on the up take of social media.

I’ve found that others who don’t use it, kind of feel the same way.

However, twitter and social media doesn’t have to be like that.

It can be a powerful business marketing tool if you give it a chance.

Now, if you search, you’ll find lots of articles on how to use Twitter and other social media platforms, as well as basic strategic advice but what I never found was specific examples on how to get tweeting.

All the advice is always so general, regurgitating the same things….

  • Be social
  • Interact
  • Don’t sell

As a visual type of person, an introvert and a salesman, that’s not too helpful.

I want specific, productive examples on how to get tweeting.

I want to know it all, quickly and immediately.

If you’re new to social media and tweeting or think it’s just a load of rubbish then here are my 6 top tips to get you going and make social media at least a small part of your marketing strategy.

1. Figure out what social media platform to use

It’s best to try and use all of the big 6 social media platforms.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • Instagram

But it’s also an idea to just try and use one effectively as opposed to all of them badly.

Each one has it’s own pro’s and cons and one may work better than another for your type of business specifically.

InstagramPinterestTwitter
Content TypePrimarily text based   Secondary images and video Primarily photo based   Secondary text and video Primarily photo based   Secondary text
How it worksUsers post up “Tweets” composed of text and or images and video that appear on a timeline feed.Users post up photos and or text and video that appear on a timeline feedUsers post up “Pins” and or text that appear on a board
Demographic24% Male users   25% Female users 36% 18-29 Years of age 23% 30-49 Years of Age 26% Male users   38% Female users 59% 18-29 Years of age 33% 30-49 Years of Age 17% Male users   45% Female users 36% 18-29 Years of age 34% 30-49 Years of Age
Popular forEverything & business marketing Photos and designers Arts, crafts and design
User Base330 Million   Great for Small Businesses 813 Million   Has an inner-city reach 200 Million   Almost 50% of Pinterest users are U.S based

By studying different social media platforms you’ll not only get an idea about which consumers are on there but also how you might use the platform.

For example, this post by coschedule give you an idea of how many times you should publish on any given social media platform and at what time of day for maximum impact.

Choosing a platform to use, if not all of them, will give you an idea of who you’re being social with and how many times you need to send content out which will play an important part in planning your social media strategy.

2.Take a practical approach to social media.

The experts say…Tweet 5-10 times a day.

I rarely manage to say 10 words about my day let alone write 10 tweets about it.

So, one problem I faced was content production (what to post).

To get started I made a basic index of 10 pieces of content that I could post out throughout the day.

How to produce a content strategy:

  • Reposts = 1-2 (reposting stuff that others have posted)
  • Adverts = 1 (I am a salesman)
  • My content (My Blog posts) = 1 post
  • Sharing content = 2 post (Sharing someone elses content)
  • Thoughts – Philosophy, Ideas or maybe just thoughts! = 1 post
  • Update – Whatever your working on= 1 post
  • Tip – Tweet a tip, something helpful = 1 post

There’s plenty of others you can do but these are a good basis to work from and you now have a social media content guide.

Depending on what platform you choose, try and post out the minimum suggested amount of posts per day to begin with.

 3.Finding content

Re-posting or re-sharing other people’s content (articles) is an easy way to get started on social media if you don’t have a lot of your own content to put out.

But rather than wasting time searching for content every day, you can use a reader such as Feedly to help you find sharable content quicker.

Within feedly you can find blogs, news and websites that serve information that’s relative to your industry and have them recorded for you daily.

All you have to do is pick out good, interesting and useful content written by others and share it.

To get a good flow of sharable content use these essential tools

  • Your Phone
  • Feedly
  • Your social media platforms

If you use the above then you can post anything, anytime, anyplace.

Your unproductive 5 minutes spent waiting for something can be turned into a post or few with the likes of the above and……

4.Social Media Scheduling

A big problem for me was finding time to post on social media.

I’m so busy during the day that I don’t actually have a 5-minute break here or there to post something out.

And if I do have 5 minutes, I don’t usually have anything to post out.

But there is a solution to this problem.

You don’t have to use reminders or try and squeeze in a post here and there.

The best way to do get social on social media is by using a social media scheduler.

There are actually quite a few out there such as Buffer, HootSuite, ZSocial and MeetEdgar.

Each platform gives you three core functions that allow you to become more active on social media

  1. You can set up social media posts in bulk
  2. You can schedule posts to automatically go out during the day, week, month and year
  3. You can post to several different social media platforms at once

Each platform has variances in features but each one consistently allows you to manage your social media more easily and become much more productive on social media platforms.

By using the above tools, you’ll have a social media presence worldwide whilst you sleep.

Each platform offers free tiers to get you going (except MeetEdgar) so give it a try.

5. Social Media is like posting out printed flyers

You can do all the above but you may still not understand social media.

The best way to look at selling via social media is by comparing it to a traditional marketing tool, something we’ve all tried and tested, flyer design and distribution.

Flyer design is cheap and cheerful and so is the ROI.

Their quick, hard-hitting, informative and sales worthy but for a flyer to be truly effective it needs to get into the right hands.

This is the hard part and essentially why flyers can bring a poor ROI.

However, repeating the process continuously can lead to brand awareness, recognition and a better ROI.

Social Media platforms do the same thing.

Think of a post, update or tweet like a digital flyer.

Like flyers, a tweet or a post is a form of marketing material but in a smaller format.

Like a flyer, a tweet or a post can be repeated but quite possibly a little more targeted where recipients already know/follow you.

You can also add hashtags to these posts to give your tweets/posts a search functionality and extend the lifeline of your post, helping your content to be sought after by people looking for you at a later date.

In all honesty, a tweet/post/update, just like a flyer will probably get thrown in the bin but the fact that you do it 10 times a day makes it quite versatile.

And because of that it also means that every tweet/post doesn’t have to be so sales focused.

That’s why you should….

5. Be social and don’t try too hard to sell on social media

The world’s most famous social media tip is to be social.

But what does that mean for an introvert like me?

Being social doesn’t mean you have to share every thought or what you’re eating but most businesses who are successful on social media share everything about their life; The professional side and sometimes the more casual side. It’s not all about looking like a pro, it’s about being you in real life!

In doing so you’ll be surprised at the response you get, and that response becomes a connection or the start of a digital relationship.

As a business using social media for business purposes you can also be social business wise.

Think of it as standing around the water cooler or just being you.

Long gone are the days of 80’s and 90’s where it was all about the hard sell.

Today selling is about listening, learning, and educating and on social media you’re just doing it a little more digitally and sociably.

If you see a potential lead on social media you may think of responding with a sales pitch.

What’s actually more effective is responding with a thought instead.

I’m no expert but the above has certainly helped me to get a little more active on social media and if you’re like me…… too introverted, too ignorant, too lazy or too scared to jump in.

Try the above and give it ago.

Conclusion

Content is a vital part of social media.

But whether it’s a thought, photo or fact doesn’t matter.

Having something to share is.

Build your library of content by recording daily events and creating articles, posts and media to share.

Think about your current library of content.

You may think that you don’t have any but if you have a business website, which you probably do. You can share a link to that website.

You can even share every page on your website as individual posts.

Your social media content is everywhere around you.

All you have to do is share it.

Still noy game? Take a look at our free content marketing course for a practical guide to attracting clients online.



6 Comments

  • Hey Chaten,

    I found your blog post quite interesting. Your article is a great reference for people who find it difficult to put themselves out “socially”. The time will come when social media interaction is going to be necessary, regardless of your profession or business. Hence, now is as good a time as any to start doing it.

    Thanks,
    Richard

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