8 Tips For Starting Out In Social Media

We recently asked a community of social media strategists on Google+ for their best beginner tip. We left it mostly open ended but promised we’d share a link to their site and we would report back once this link was up. This was a great experiment in blog writing for us. We crowdsource the content and got feedback from across the globe.

Here are the first responses we received.

 SparkAction

“We always recommend first and foremost to everyone to KNOW THY AUDIENCE. Who are they (age, demographic, etc.), how do they use the platforms you are setting up on (for shopping? news?)?. To go further, this question should be set up into two sections: 1) who is your current audience, if you have one, and b) who is your target audience, aka who you want to be interacting with your networks. Two different organizations can have the exact same social media strategies, language, etc. – but with different audiences, some will work magic for one group and fall flat for another. And, always remember that social media audiences and social media networks are changing. If you find something that is working well for you, congrats! That’s awesome! But don’t expect that your work is done. Even in a few months, you might see a shift, and you’ll need to re-asses.”

Learn more about Spark Action here:  http://sparkaction.org.

 Mike Johnston

“This might not be exactly what you meant but I recently wrote a blog on Crowdfunding that does deal with beginning a social networking presence: http://www.street-punk-productions.com/crowdfunding-how-to/.”

Included in Mike’s post is this key bit of info: “The first thing to do, before you even build any site for your business or sign up to any social networks is to decide on the right URL. This is important to SEO because it is one of the things search engines consider when ranking your site. It also helps to convey to people what your site is about.”

 Audrey Trieschman

“A tip I would offer: Start small. Plan to publish a blog post once a week, focus on one or two social media sites – and follow through on that plan. Once you get good at managing your editorial calendar, you can step it up. Remember, you’re probably starting with an audience of close to zero, so spend the time in the beginning to establish routines, understand the process and networks, start building your content inventory.”

 Jamie Courtnell

“The biggest tip for me would be to plan what social channels. Find out what mediums your target audience are using develop a specific strategy for it. You don’t need to be present on every social media platform, a solid, well thought out, creative presence on one platform will be more effective than a mediocre presence on all social media platforms.http://www.marketingmyjourney.com/blog/item/knowing-when-to-say-no-to-the-latest-social-media-fad

 Sean Riley

“Its simple. Only use social media if you NEED social media. Do not use it just because people say to use it. A misused media can cause more harm that good. Companies have to realize that, YES, social media is the new wave, but NO, if it doesnt fit then it doesnt fit. I cant stand seeing companies and professionals “mailing it in” with their social media efforts.

BUT, if you are going to use it, make it count. Shock people, surprise them, make them want to see it instead of hoping they look at it.”

Learn more about Sean here: http://shockandsurprise.blogspot.ca/

 Benjamin Brown

“Listen. Plan. Execute. In that order, always.”

 She’s A Geek

“ENGAGE – it’s not enough just to schedule content & forget. You must be present on social media & engage with your audience. RT interesting content, reply & comment on updates. A business that doesn’t engage is like that boyfriend you had who just talked about himself all the time!!”

Get more here: http://blog.shesageek.com.au

 Amanda Barry

“A common mistake on social media is using poor spelling and grammar. Especially if you’re posting on behalf of a business, please use spell check!

(And be sure that you’re posting on the right account!!)”

See more frmo Amanda here: www.maracaibomedia.com

Last but not least, our best tip is: Find an expert! You are an expert in your business. It is ok that you’re not an expert in social media. If you are the CMO of a $100 million dollar business We promise not to hire you as a magician for kids parties. This is the same reason you don’t hire the CEOs son because “he’s on that damn Facebook all the time.”

Thank you everyone for your help.

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social media 101 guide