Social media basics

Social media basics



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Social media is everywhere, and people engage with it every day. Learn what it is and how you can take advantage of these networks by:

– understanding why you need to be there
– joining the right social media sites
– growing your presence and engaging with your networks.

Social media is now
a given in our daily lives. As a business it can be
a big opportunity for you. Here's just one example
of how Rachel used social media to great effect when
promoting her cupcake business at a particular time of year. (Rachel) A good example of social media
having a positive impact on the business would be Mother's Day
last year we ran a competition for friends on Facebook to give examples of why
their mums are the best mums and that they would win
a box of cupcakes. And people added really
gorgeous stories about how great their mums were, and there certainly
was a positive impact on sales from that campaign. As part of all our marketing
activity for Mother's Day, social played a really key role in that. Online networks–
or social media as we call it– allow people to link, interact,
share and exchange information. They've quickly become something
we can't seem to live without. Literally millions of people connect and share
on social media every single day. But it can also
be a great tool for businesses. Social media can be a platform that lets you talk
directly to your customers and prospective customers alike, to share content,
get involved in conversations, to build trust, reach more people, grow your sphere of influence, and ultimately understand
your customers better. Imagine you own
a vintage clothing shop. Your customers might
already be using social media to talk about you. They might be sharing
their amazing finds, asking for advice about alterations, or even to post photos
of celebs in retro outfits. When you join these social networks,
you can join these conversations and start new ones. Maybe you'll start by sharing photos
when you get new items in stock and this will help you stay top of mind. It also gives people a reason
to visit again and again. This way your network can grow quickly. Those people might see your posts
and share them with other fashionistas which can score you new followers
and new connections. These are people who
might become your next customers. Social media can also help you
build trust with your audience. Imagine a potential customer reading
reviews or watching videos of real people, not models,
wearing and raving about your clothes. Social media provides an opportunity
for your customers and fans to promote your products. And when this happens you earn trust. Why? Well, when someone else
says how great you are it carries more weight. You're not promoting yourself. your customers are doing it for you. And there's one last benefit
of social media for your business. You can learn by watching how people
interact with your brand online. Maybe no one's interested in a blog post
about the history of brocade, but a video showing 20 ways to
tie a silk scarf gets tons of shares. Figure out what people like
both online and in your shop and give them more of it. Sound good? Right. Let's talk about how you can make social
media really pay off for your business by joining the right social media sites, sharing content
and participating in lively conversations and growing your networks. You can't tap into the power
of social media unless you're there. First, you'll want to get to
know the different networks. Which ones are your customers using most? This will help you decide
if you need a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Pinterest account, a Twitter handle, a Google+ page, a LinkedIn company page or some combination
of these and others. Then you'll need to create your profile or what usually
ends up being your homepage on each of the sites
you're going to participate in. Each social network is different but whenever possible you'll want to add
particulars about your business, like your location
and contact information. Some let you add
more information about your business or even photos and video. Once you move into the social network it's time to get to know the neighbors. Making friends takes time and effort but if they can help
get the word out about your business it's an investment that really pays off. It's important to know that while you may
be using social media for business gains it's a very different medium
from your typical advertising channels. The people you interact with
on social media don't want to just be talked at. Think of it more as a conversation– a give-and-take relationship
that ebbs and flows. Treat this network as you would your
friends and colleagues in the real world. Making friends on social media
won't happen overnight and it can't be forced. Start by recruiting existing customers,
maybe with a sign in the shop that says, "Follow us here", or even better, a 10% discount if they
connect with you online. Follow that up with other ways
to grow your network– contests, special events,
members only offers, entertaining content, or even real face-to-face meetups
for members of your social circles. And remember, every member of your social network
has a network of their own. Social media is all about sharing. As you add posts and photos
and get involved in conversations it's easy for people to connect with you. And that means more eyeballs on you
and your business. Social media offers
lots of opportunities for businesses. And like anything else
in the online space, you'll need a plan. We're going to cover everything, from what kind
of social networks are out there, how to build your presence on them and
manage the content you create and share, to setting goals with social media, using paid social advertising
and measuring success. Social media is a great way
to start a conversation with people and ultimately grow your customer base. So, let's get working
and make some new friends.

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