Nine Tips for Navigating Online Social Media

From Command Creative Blog by Kevin Curry

Last week, I talked to a the Professional Remodelers Organization about online social media. My hope was to take a little of the fear out of using online social media to market your business. They’d all heard of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., but like many people they were still intimidated and lost about how it can be a marketing tool.

Here are the notes from my talk. Hopefully, I put a few of them at ease!

1. It’s just another communication tool, don’t be afraid of it. The same approach to meeting people at a face to face networking event is applicable to online networking.

At its simplest, it’s just like other mediums (e.g. radio, TV, print). It can be targeted, there is good stuff to learn, there is a bunch of fluff, and there are paid and unpaid ways to use it.

Bottom line, think of it as another tool.

2. It’s still a young communication tool, so how it is used is still evolving. Twitter, for example, is only about two and a half years old. The transition from marketing on radio to marketing TV went through an evolution as well, remember live announcers and full sponsorship of TV shows?

3. As with any medium, you need a plan or strategy for how you will use it. What is your goal? Customer engagement? Customer service? Brand awareness? Promote specials? Build a community? It can be all, or some, of these, and maybe even something else.

4. Who is your audience? Your target market? Like with any medium, who do you want to reach?

5. Engage others based on your strategy and goals. Follow or friend others who provide good information you can use or share with others. Seek out those in your target audience/market.

6. Promote your online identity to customers. Qdoba, a Mexican restaurant, does this with a sign on the counter where you order. Tell your customers to follow you for promotions or customer service, give them a peek behind the curtain at your business. Drive traffic to your website.

7. Share your knowledge. You are an expert in your field, let people know your opinion on new products, approaches, news or blog articles etc. For example, at our sister company, Lyon Films, we share behind the scenes photos from our shoots via Twitter (@lyonfilms) and posted on our blog (www.LyonFilms.com/blog).

8. Be open to organic changes in your use. This includes your consumption of social media and your distribution via social media. It’s fluid and will change over time.

9. Be authentic, people want to hear your voice, not a contrived one. That being said, always remember that you are representing yourself and your brand.

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