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Getting started on social media

Not sure where to start when it comes to promoting your business on social media?

Social media can seem overwhelming, but fortunately there are a few basic principles that can help guide you through the ‘getting started’ stages.

The golden rule of social media is to engage with people using relevant and useful content. Your customers are more likely to read, share, like and comment on posts that interest them.

This means there is often a disconnect between the content you want to post (such as special offers and product information) and the information your audience will find useful and engaging.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who have a knack for writing engaging content off the bat, you’re going to need to do a bit of research and put together a social media strategy on how to create and deliver that content.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Work out which social media platforms are best for your business

  1. Choose a platform you want to include as part of your social media mix. (eg. Facebook).
  2. On the social media platforms you’re interested in using, search for similar businesses to yours.
  3. Look for businesses with at least a few thousand likes/followers that post on a regular basis (at least weekly).
  4. Browse through their profiles to find posts that their audience are engaging with (eg. posts that get a lot of likes, shares, comments).
  5. Make note of the content theme (eg. was the post educational, problem solving, entertaining or news focused).
  6. Repeat this process for a number of business pages and identify popular topic themes.

Plan your social media content

Now you’ve done your homework, it’s time to use your research to help you plan your social media content. You could:

  1. Create your own content from scratch, including written articles, images, infographics and/or videos.
  2. Comment on relevant content you’ve found elsewhere. You could use a social media post or article someone else has created as a way to express your view on a popular topic.
  3. Use a quote from an article and then express your view or standpoint.
  4. Provide a link to relevant content on an external website.
  5. Share content created by someone else (make sure you have their permission first).

Tips to help you create social media content

Once you’ve decided on the type of content you’re going to post you need to develop it.

This can be one of the most challenging parts of the process – the big question is ‘what am I going to share today?’

Here’s a useful process to help you break through this barrier and make content creation easier:

  1. Visit an information repository like BlogSearchEngine.org or Google News.
  2. Search on a keyword or phrase relating to your industry.
  3. Look for blogs and articles that contain useful and relevant content - preferably ones that have content matching the themes you discovered in your research phrase.
  4. Choose blogs or websites that post at least 1-2 times per week (or more).
  5. If the blog or website has an RSS feed, add their RSS feed link to your RSS reader (if you don’t have an RSS reader, you can use one via Outlook or sign up for one at feedly.com). You ideally want to collect at least 15 to 20 RSS feeds.

With an RSS list of blog and website feeds in place, you now have a useful resource at your fingertips that you can browse through any time you need content ideas.

Now start creating your content!

Want to learn more about social media marketing?

This is just a summary of the steps involved in getting started with your social media strategy. If you’re interested in learning how to develop and implement a complete digital strategy in your business then join us for our Digital Marketing Essentials workshop.

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