Category Archives: Social Media

Getting Started With Social Media

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Today we’re going to start a new series: Working With Social Media. When it comes to social media, I think all of us are new-bies, just because everything is so new! Remember, it wasn’t very long ago that we couldn’t figure out how to change the ribbons in our typewriters, and now we can share information across the globe in a split second. Mind-boggling at the very least.

So, the first thing to remember is that you are not behind! Don’t feel like you need to catch up with anything, just jump in where you are. A little is more than you did yesterday, and a little more tomorrow will be more still. You will get there with everything eventually.

So, where exactly does one “jump in?” That depends upon what you sell, how you enjoy sharing, how social you want to be, and how much time you want to spend reading blogs and looking at other people’s stuff.

For this week, then, think about these things and make goals for where you want to be in these areas. Then, you’ll have your vision and we can learn together how to realize it.

Looking at these topics further:
1) What Do You Sell?
A product or a service? A “want it” or “need it” product? High dollar or micro sales? Very visual or more conceptual? Depending upon these factors, some social media outlets might work better than others. In some cases, you really have to put your thinking cap on to figure out how you can promote your items on some particular social media outlets. Some I haven’t figured out yet myself. So, I would pick one social media outlet at a time and try to figure out how you could promote your business on it. Look at what other folks do that sell similar items, and see how those strategies might apply to you. You goal should be to be fairly active in at least three. But work on getting just one started at a time! You’ll run yourself nuts if not. Don’t ask me how I know.

2) How Do You LIke Sharing?
Do you love to take pictures? Or would you rather write? Do you like to write a little or a LOT? Figuring out the way you love to communicate is the key to being consistent with it. Believe me, there’s a social media outlet out there for every kind of communicator.

3) How Social Are You? Or How Social Do You Want to Be?
Your followers will come to enjoy and even expect information from you. So, decide now how much time you’re willing to spend a day working on your social media outlets. That includes writing and planning your posts, but also looking and commenting on other people’s posts as well. Whatever level you decide and do for a little while, that’s what your followers will expect. Do any less, they’ll wonder what happened to you, or worse, they might think you’re fly-by-night. Do any more, well, they might think you’re bugging them and leave! So consistency is key, and you might as well decide now what your level of commitment will be. Like I said before, even a little is more than you were doing, so just do what you’re comfortable with.

4) How Much Do You Want to Engage Other People?
Decide now too how much time you’re willing to spend daily reading blogs, looking at Pinterest boards, Etsy shops, Facebook posts, Instagram and Twitter feeds, and all the other stuff. You’ll get a lot of inspiration, make some friends, and read a bunch of stuff you could probably have lived without, but it is part and parcel of social media. If you want folks to interact with you on your social media outlets, you just about have to reciprocate. (This is a really hard one for me, so it’s kind of “do as I say not as I do” on this one, and on just about everything else social media-related. I’m still working my way through setting up my three social media outlets!)

So, that should keep you busy this week! I would love to hear your thoughts on these topics. If you have tips on how you manage social media, I’d love for you to share that too. I’ll look forward to hearing what everyone has to say!

Until next week! Lisa

(Some Of) The Basics of Facebook

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The Basics of Facebook

Thinking about starting a Facebook business page? Or do you have a page that hasn’t really gotten off the ground yet? You aren’t alone! A Facebook page is pretty easy to set up, but it’s a little hard to get the hang of what you’re supposed to post there. So, here are some ideas and tips that might help you get started.

 

1) Stalk for A While
I did this before I set up my Facebook business page, or any pages for my customers. I probably looked at hundreds of business pages over the course of a year and a half. I tried to figure out what exactly they were doing that could be of use to me and my business page. Bottom line, I needed to be sure that maintaining the page would be worth my time. Would it make me any money, in other words.  So, have a look at businesses similar to yours. What do they do on their Facebook pages? Contests? Like and share promotions? Do they share fun sayings or memes? Do they post sales or new items? Do they have polls? Do they ask questions of their readership? Do they post coupons? Whatever they are doing, think about how that might pan out on your Facebook business page. Could you market your product that way? If so, give it a try for a while and see how it goes.

2) Please Keep it Positive—Be a Source of Inspiration, Humor and Encouragement
I can’t stress this enough!  Remember, your followers are watching; many of them see your posts, but they can also see when you post on other Facebook business pages. Make sure that you are positive and upbeat all the time.  I (used to) like a page on which the business owner would post how frustrated or disappointed she was with her vendors, her customers, herself, what a Negative Nancy! How depressing! I would rather have heard about her cool products—give me a coupon or show me something new, for heaven’s sake! Don’t tell me how awful everything is; I already know that. That’s why I was looking at her page—to forget how stressful and frustrating life can be sometimes. Instead, think of your followers when you’re reading blogs, or scrolling through your Facebook feed. If you see something you think your followers would like, share it over to your page. Don’t forget to wish them well on holidays, and take several opportunities a year to thank them for following you. You can offer Facebook fan only specials, or just say thanks every now and then.

3) How Often and How Much?
How often should you post? How much should you post? It depends upon what you sell and where you’re selling it. If you have a brick and mortar shop, I think you can get away with posting several times a week to a couple of times a day, provided that you have something relevant to say. For instance, you can invite them to stop by after work to pick up the cupcakes you just took out of the oven (of course you’ve taken a scrumptious-looking photo to show everyone how awesome they are.) You could announce that you just got something cool that everyone has been waiting for. That kind of thing. If you have an online store, I think it warrants a little less posting, simply because you don’t have the advantage of encouraging people to come into your shop and you don’t have the interaction with customers daily that would spur some good Facebook chatter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an active and interesting Facebook page. Try to think of ways to engage your followers at least on a weekly basis, beyond just posting new items that you’ve listed. As I said before, sharing content works well; as does asking questions of your followers.  (What should I make next? What do you think of the new Pantone color of the season?) Try different approaches and see how your followers respond.

4) Learn How to Use Facebook Insights and Monitor Them
Facebook has statistics software that can help you figure out what posts are the most effective. They even have a service where you can compare other pages to yours. Learn how to use their software and monitor it often. When you have a promotion, make a note of how it did, in comparison to ones you’ve done before. It won’t be long before you’ll know what works for your page.

5) Try Promotions
Give Facebook promotions a try. You can do your own, or you can use a service. You can have contests, coupons, like and share competitions, drawings for prizes, and lots of other crazy stuff. Again, be on the lookout for promotions you see on the pages you like, and adapt them to your page.

6) Be Consistent
However often you decide to post, make sure that you are consistent. Try not to post daily for a month and then not post at all for three. Your followers look forward to your posts so make sure you check in with them at least once a week. You can schedule posts in Facebook, so take advantage of that feature. If you have a weekly post of some type, schedule them in advance so you don’t have to remember every week.

7) Remember, They Followed You
Your followers chose to follow your page! The want to hear what you have to say. When you write posts, think about how what you say will affect them. Again, stay upbeat and positive. Make your followers excited to hear from you. Strike a happy medium between asking them for something (look at my new stuff, or buy this cool thing) and giving them something (here’s a funny picture, I thought of you guys when I read this article.)

Facebook is new to everybody. Businesses are constantly innovating, and Facebook itself is coming up with new ways to interact with people. Bottom line, though, Facebook is a way to communicate with current and potential customers. So, give it a try!