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If you'd like to get involved on social media, but don't know where to start, take a look at our quick guide.
Find Your Best Fit
Start by considering which social media channels are most suitable for your business. Many businesses start off by setting up a Facebook page and then move onto developing other accounts. It can also be helpful to research what your competitors are doing in the social media space, and see what works for them.
Establishing a healthy social media presence can be a very slow process. You can’t expect your list of fans, followers or subscribers to grow overnight. It takes time and commitment to grow your social media presence.
Once you have identified the social media channel you’re going to focus on, it’s time to turn your attention to the methods you'll use to engage with your users, and how frequently. Infrequent interaction is one of the main reasons businesses experience social media failure. Steady and consistent communication is one of the stepping stones to success, and it doesn't have to be hard. Consider creating a plan or schedule, this might include actions such as creating a certain number posts of each week, running a monthly competition, or tweeting daily.
Setting aside time each day to monitor your social media accounts, respond to comments and engage with your audience ensures queries don't go unanswered. Social Media is a powerful tool for directly communicating with your customers, so make sure to respond when they reach out. The Golden Rule; don't let a week go by without generating content.
Create Good Content
Your fans and followers don’t want commercials, they want conversation. They don’t just want to hear how great your company is, they already like or follow you. Focus your content strategy on giving your audience information they want and need. A good rule of thumb is to create 80% valuable content with a focus on your customer and things that will interest and engage them, and 20% on promoting your business. Keep an eye out for interesting and relevant content to share and comment on as well as generating fresh content.
Run Competitions or Promotions
Once you have a good following it can be worthwhile running a competition or promotion to keep fans and followers excited, interested and coming back. Most importantly, it’s a great way to get your business or brand in front of more people and build your audience. That doesn’t mean you need to run them all the time, you might like to focus on running promotions at key times per year (like Father's Day or Christmas) or every 2 months – you decide. Ensure you check up on Facebook's rules before launching a competition on your page.
The NZ Government's social media toolbox provides a useful guide to social media and how it can be applied. Although the toolkit is aimed at local government it is also a useful guide for small businesses. Also worth reading is How to handle a mishap.