Social media – first steps

AHA - Social MediaWe have had several new business meetings over the past week or so and the discussion always turns to what the organization can be doing in regard to social media.

Not everyone is ready to leap into social media full throttle, but it is important to start the process of listening. See what people in your industry/area of expertise are doing online. Pay attention to the conversations that are happening. It’s a good first step into connecting with your specific community.

Have a critical look at your website. We often get clients calling and asking for a social media strategy and when we start the discussion of why they want to engage in social media, we ask about their website. Quite often, their site is stagnant and hasn’t been touched in a very long time. Your website is an important component of your online brand. How up-to-date is it? How relevant is it? Is there a way to make the content more current on a regular basis?

When clients want to begin to use social media tools as a part of their overall communications outreach, we often recommend starting out small, one step at a time – with a focus on doing it right. Below we have outlined four small actions you can take over the next two weeks to begin to include social media in your day-to-day work.

1. Review your website. How many unique visitors do you have each day? How interactive is your site? How current is your site? How does your site compare to others in your industry? What could be done differently to encourage visitors to check out your site more often, stay longer or to take the next step and connect with you? (Econsultancy.com has a helpful post titled: Five easy ways to make your business website more social.)

2. Who are the five top bloggers in your area? Set up RSS feeds and read their blogs regularly.

3. Who from your industry is on Twitter? Use the search function on Twitter and find out who is talking about your business, industry, and area of expertise. Set up a Twitter account and follow them. Listen to what they have to say.

4. Is there someone in your office who is active online, who blogs or is on Twitter? Find out who this is and ask their advice. You might be surprised at who it is and how much you can learn from them.

The world of social media can seem overwhelming, but by taking small steps and learning about the culture, the technology and the people – it makes it easy to accomplish.

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