Many small businesses and organizations just don’t know how to start becoming involved with social media. They may also be wondering quite what value it can add, although some can clearly see the value, it depends on the type of business.
My suggestion to my clients, is not to jump in feet first, dip your toes in slowly, sit back and watch a little, see how others do it and learn the protocols. I suggest a four-step introduction to social media;
Step one: Find your online community. Open an account, or page, and find the other users with similar interests and watch how they behave. What do they post about? How often do they post? How do people respond?
Step two: Take part in your online community. Start to share some links to pages or articles that you have found interesting or useful, or post pages of your website that people may like to see. Comment on the current issues in your industry and share your views.
Step three: Strengthen your relationships. Once you feel you know your social media community quite well, and understand what it’s issues and interests are, consider blogging to share your thoughts more deeply and in more detail.
Step four: Become a trusted member of your online community. Combine all the above, continue to comment and share other peoples’ interesting points, along with delivering a reliable product from your business, you can become a valuable member of your online community. Reaching this stage strengthens your credibility with anyone you deal with online – clients, customers, competitors and suppliers.