5 great on-line articles to help you get you started with social media for your business

I don’t know about you, but I find the whole world of social media a complex and confusing place. And therefore to be avoided at all costs.  Until recently, Facebook and LinkedIn have been the extent of my on-line presence. Yes, I know that makes me a troglodyte and I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and agree.

But that’s all had to change and I’ve had to dip my toes (actually, it was more a full body emersion) into this arcane and mysterious world.

These days, as a business, if you are looking for new clients, you have to extend your reach beyond good old fashioned marketing, networking and running free seminars.  And that means embracing social media in its various guises.

social media

Unfortunately this doesn’t mean writing one tweet a week, which I thought would be ample, or just posting the odd interesting article on LinkedIn. Oh no. A whole integrated approach is required that links a number of different on-line media together. In my case, I am starting the process using LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and a blog. There will be video involved at some stage…
As I have my presence on the Business Doctors’ website, I have little influence over that, but for your own business, you will definitely need to include your website in the mix.

The idea being that information cross pollinates and you can use the same material in lots of different ways across each medium. It also means there are more ways to find you on t’internet.

What your mix will be will depend on your business – are you selling to consumers for example or to other businesses, and also what you are selling.

I was going to include some screen shots from the below presentation – in particular slides 9 and 11 which show respectively, the list of content marketing approaches used by organisations and the most popular social media sites used by marketeers – LinkedIn and Twitter being the most popular, but also includes Google +, Slideshare and Pinterest for example. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a decent resolution on them, so they were unreadable when I inserted them into the blog. It’s a very interesting presentation showing the trends in social media over the last 12 months. The full presentation can be seen here 

I have been very lucky and met the wonderful and inimitable Rob from Silverback Guerilla Productions .  He made me produce a social media strategy, which in itself was excellent as it made me clarify my target audience(s) and what messages I wanted to get out there.  His wizardry has included creating me an avatar and doing my tweets for me (four a day for four days of the week folks, not one a week as I so mistakenly thought). The consequence of his sorcery is that I now have in excess of 600 followers, in less than three weeks. This from a standing start of around 20 is incredible (have a look https://twitter.com/BizDocsSurrey ). I can’t even begin to wonder at what spells he has woven to get that to happen. It is beyond my brain to comprehend. Not only does he do my tweets, but he monitors them to ensure I am following the influencers, amongst lots of other stuff he does for me.*

This is another key word; influencers! It’s all about trying to finding and connecting with the people who can help you promote your business.  Or getting involved in on-line groups (relevant to your business) and contributing to discussions or forums.

Very importantly it’s not about selling – it’s all about providing useful information for others so that they will promote you and broaden your reach and influence that way. It’s a slowly, slowly catchee monkey process and in the words of George Harrison – it’s going to take patience and time. I’m still in the early stages of building up my social media presence and I will be interested to see how it evolves over the next six months…I’ll keep you posted.

It really is very time consuming –I frequently get lost in cyber world rummaging around reading articles, commenting on forums, finding new infographics, looking at groups and so on. That’s where Rob is so helpful to me; he takes a lot of the slog out of it. He’d even write my blog if I asked him – he’s funnier than me, you may well prefer the idea!

And of course, you need to measure, measure, measure!  Make sure you analyse the success of the different channels. For example, which tweets are working and which aren’t and then tweaking what you do to encourage more of the good stuff.

Below are five links to content I’ve found useful. I’ve picked a couple of standard web articles, to a SharePoint presentation, video clip and infographic. I thought I’d better use a variety of different content types rather than just articles – I am, after all, trying to get with the programme:

  1. 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218160
  2. Winning On The Web: Seven small business social media success strategies: http://www.businesszone.co.uk/topic/marketing-pr/winning-web-seven-small-business-social-media-success-strategies/58685
  3. How Content Marketing Works: http://www.slideshare.net/brightedge/hcmw-slideshare-links-42313441
  4. Infographic on social etiquette for the different sites – http://www.problogger.net/archives/2014/10/24/a-social-media-etiquette-guide-you-might-find-useful/
  5. A fun video with some incredible facts about social media you ignore at your peril: http://mashable.com/2014/04/23/social-media-marketing-facts/

* No money has changed hands for this glowing testimonial!

I’d like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and here’s to a successful 2015!

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