Social media for new business owners can feel totally overwhelming when setting up a new web presence.
We know that having a “presence” on these outlets is “good for business”.
But beyond that?
Working IN your Business vs Working ON your Business
Most new business owners are very caught up in the day-to-day running of the business, that they may get as far as creating accounts on many different social media outlets, but then that is where it stops.
If you’ve come from a corporate position, to one where you’re suddenly working on your own, then you are already having to divide your time between working in your business vs working on your business. Suddenly you’re managing accounts and client interaction, besides having to work on the actual projects themselves. I know, because I’ve been there, well, I’m still there! Add to that the need to market your business via social media and suddenly you have even less time for the actual work that brings the money in.
The key to all of this, in my humble opinion, is BALANCE and FOCUS.
Social Media for New Business Owners: A Basic Plan
A very basic plan for social media for new business owners might look something like this:
- Create Website with a blog (or even AS a blog)
- Create a Facebook Page (not a personal profile)
- Create a Twitter Account
- Create a Pinterest Account
- Create a LinkedIn Profile
However, if you’re going to have any success with social media as a new business owner, you need to take it further than this and focus on those areas that will beneficial to your business specifically.
Social Media for New Business Owners: A Detailed Plan
1. Create a Website with a blog (or even AS a blog)
The need for a business to have a web presence is so well documented it seems superfluous to even mention it, but despite that, some businesses still don’t! The first thing I do, when vetting a new business, is I google them. If I can’t find them, I move on immediately.
Under this heading – you also need to remember to:
- set up your RSS feed so that others can subscribe to your blog
- subscribe to other blogs in your area of expertise, but also to the blogs of your potential customers. You need to spend time where your potential customers spend time, to figure out how to better serve their needs. If you’re not sure about how to use RSS feeds to subscribe to blogs, then make sure that you go and read this. RSS What is it?
- Create a posting rhythm. Decide BEFORE you start blogging, how often you want to add to your blog, and BE CONSISTENT.
- Schedule regular time for blogging and stick to it!
- Make sure you have Google Analytics installed so that you can track your visitors and where they are coming from.
2. Create a Facebook Page
This is different to a personal profile. Think of it as a ‘personal profile for your business’. Here is our Facebook Page, please feel free to stop by and ‘like’ us!
- Once you’re created the blog post on your website/blog, then GO and POST the newly generated URL (address) for your new blog post, to your Facebook page. To new bloggers we don’t recommend setting up your blog to auto-publish straight to Facebook, at least until you are familiar with how to make the post appear with the correct image alongside etc
- Add the post to Facebook and Share it – and ask a question, that your readers will feel compelled to answer. This is called “creating interaction”.
- Consider that your Facebook page is one of the best places to reach your most trusted circle of friends and family, and it’s also a great way to test your marketplace and get feedback from what your clients need. Start here, and ask for people to share your content. The amount of potential customers you can reach is absolutely worth the scary feeling you get when you announce a new business idea to friends and family. Stop being afraid and let your amazing brilliant idea shine through.
- Schedule time each day to interact with your Facebook likes.
3. Create a Twitter Account
- If Facebook publishes to your most trusted family and friends, then Twitter is the place where you want to announce your fabulous business news to the world.
- Figure out how to use #hashtags. (We will be explaining this in a later blog post, so please subscribe to the blog by entering your email address on the top right of the sidebar)
- Take the same URL (address) of your blog post that you just created and shared on Facebook, and go and share it on Twitter. Make sure you categorise it correctly using #hashtags.
- This is our twitter page, please follow us.
- Schedule time each day to monitor twitter and respond to any tweets/retweets that you’ve received. Thank any new followers, and possibly add a few new accounts to follow that are pertinent to your niche.
4. Create a Pinterest Account
- Oh yes, the hottest thing to deliver traffic since Facebook and Twitter themselves…Pinterest is a visual collection of “pin-boards” that users can collect, view, store and share with other users. Joining Pinterest is by invitation only, so if you would like one, please email me or use the contact form above.
- Pinterest is one of the best ways to generate click-throughs to your website, providing you are posting relevant, illustrative, eye-catching photos of your projects or products.
- The great thing about Pinterest is that people can follow you based on your taste, not just on your own products. So if you are an active pinner that regularly posts pins to great content, you are likely to get many followers who are interested in you and your product, owing to the fact that you clearly have great taste – because you’ve shown an interest in other people’s work too.
- Pinterest is a very good way for your potential clients to get to know the YOU behind YOUR BUSINESS, which is a very powerful tool to wield.
- Schedule time each day to monitor Pinterest. I suggest doing this after your work is done for the day (which includes feeding your families!), because oh boy, Pinterest can hold your attention captive for hours my friends.
5. Create a LinkedIn Profile
- This is another dark horse of the social media scene.
- The thing with LinkedIn is that it positively shrieks CREDIBILITY. It involves setting up a professional profile, with details of your work history etc. You can decide how much of this is viewable by the public, but it is an invaluable tool in getting potential clients to take you seriously. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, you should be.
- Don’t forget the opportunity, if you are self-employed now, to create a Company Profile page on LinkedIn, its another way to show case your products and services in a place that takes business seriously.
- If you are a Photographer or Graphic designer and you have a Behance Portfolio, then use the built in LinkedIn App. It’s one way to get people to see your work alongside your CV. It’s extremely important.
- Once your LinkedIn profile is updated then this is one of those tools that you can check in with weekly, just to make sure you’ve answered any messages and to see who is looking at your profile.
Now, you’ll notice I’ve only mentioned 5 social media outlets here, when in reality there are hundreds.
This is the FOCUS part of the story. There is no point in creating a million different profiles, because you can only possibly be present on a handful. The whole point of this exercise is that you need to keep up with what is happening, and interact with it, during your scheduled time, without letting it take up all of your available working hours.
The BALANCE part of the story involves keeping an eye on which social media outlets are bringing you the most traffic (by looking at your google analytics), and adjusting the time you spend on each one accordingly. If the bulk of your clients are coming through from twitter, then naturally that should take up more of your allocated “working on the business” time, the same for Pinterest vs Facebook etc.
We offer our webdesign clients who are hosted with us, the option to receive weekly analytics reports enabling them to see where their traffic is coming from, which is a vital tool in getting your own business marketed via the web. We also offer assistance with the creation and maintenance of social media accounts.
Please contact us if you would like a quotation on Web Design, customized ProPhoto Themes, Graphic Design and Web Hosting or if you’d like some more information on any of these subjects.
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