Social Media: Foundations

It seems like the big dogs have all the resources.

The big brands have big bucks, big ads, fancy web sites, souped up social media, and boosted recognition. National brands have national budgets. It is easy to think, “why would I want to compete with that? I’m just a small local business anyway.” Before you slump back into your laptop and add another post to your mediocre twitter account you should really consider investing in your online marketing. We live in a risk/reward society. If you are not willing to take risks you are probably not going to be rewarded. It is time to step out on a limb, educate yourself, and press on towards greatness.

I have some great news: Many of the tools you need to get started marketing your brand are free or cheap. A great way to get started is social media. Are you willing to invest a little time into something that will take your business to the next level? It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Your journey can start today. When you look back at your life in ten years will you see missed opportunity or will you see thousands of small decisions that led to success? Your opportunity is now. This is your chance to seize the day. It is time to awaken the online marketing monster that is social media.

These four easy steps will help you get started with social media

1) The Four Must Haves: Make sure you have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+: These four social networking sites are a must in your social networking repertoire.

2) Continuity: All of your accounts need to have the same branding, styling and content. Whether someone starts following you on Twitter or adds you on Facebook they should feel right at home. People need to recognize your brand and feel familiar with you.

3) Content: Come up with some great ways to tell others about yourself. However, no one likes an attention hog. Be genuine by adding useful and valuable information to peoples lives. There is a great rule to follow on social media called the 80/20 rule… and no, I’m not talking about ground beef. 80 percent of the time you should be adding useful, educational, beneficial..etc information. 20 percent of the time you can spend promoting yourself. This creates value and trust with your followers.

4) Consistency: Create a consistent experience. People should expect to see updates on your social media sites. Your social media should be a living and breathing forum in which information constantly being refreshed. Again, this does not mean you always need to be plugging your brand. Most of the time you need to be building trust for your brand with your followers.

These four simple steps will help you optimize your social media.

These are foundational to your social media success. And the best part is social media is free! Take this information and utilize it to the best of your abilities. Most importantly have fun with it. That will bleed through your content and create an invaluable attraction to your brand.