People always ask me what they should do regarding social media and their business. In my professional opinion, this loaded question cannot be answered on the fly, let alone without doing a solid amount of research. That being said, asking is the first step and so I will answer it. Here is a quick list of what your business MUST be doing to avoid being left in the antisocial dust of yesteryear. Mind you, this list is the BARE MINIMUM so please act accordingly.
1. Create a Facebook fan page and Twitter account and use them. Keep them updated with fresh, relevant content and bring in your personal network for growth. Ask your community what they want to hear about and then provide them with that information. Talk to them, respond to them and do it in a timely manner…not just today, but tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. Make time for these tools – you’ll be glad you did.
2. Install social network links on your website. Your business website should ABSOLUTELY have social links (preferably in the top right corner). Include Facebook and Twitter to be sure, then comes YouTube, Yelp. LinkedIn and Flickr to name a few. Make sure the links work – broken links don’t do anyone any good.
3. Write blog posts. Blog posts don’t have to be perfect or long or serious. They can be fun and short and funny and informative. Post often (but make sure you’re creating good, original, fresh content) and link key phrases (that pertain to your business) back to relevant pages on your website. This does wonders for your search engine optimization and counts as a link back to your website (even though it’s from your own blog). Also post these articles to your social networks. Feel free to tweet your blog post a number of times but be careful with excessive posting on Facebook – people tend to get annoyed with anyone takes over their newsfeed.
4. If you’re a restaurant or other service business, claim your business pages on review sites like Metromix, Citigrid and Google places. Also claim your venues on geo-location sites like Yelp, Foursqare, Facebook Places, SCVNGR, Gowalla, the list goes on. Run specials (start with foursquare – it’s the easiest in my opinion) and track your conversion. It’s easy and it’s free. People are talking about you whether you’re watching or not- why turn a blind eye to such a valuable tool?
These in short, are the BARE ESSENTIALS to social media. To clarify, once you have these set up, you are far from striking social media gold – so don’t celebrate just yet. That being said, if what I’m talking about sounds like jibberish, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’d be happy to get you going. If you have a solid grasp on the aforementioned points and you thought you were sitting pretty, shoot me an email as well. We’ll take the next step together as the sky is the limit when it comes to being social.