I started using Facebook about six years ago, when I was working in India. It was a great way to stay in touch with friends far away. Only two years ago did I create my Twitter account out of curiosity. This summer I decided to step up my efforts online to create more awareness about challenges start-ups face. And so I found myself creating a Facebook business page and a new Twitter account.
When I met Andy from Bush Marketing a while ago I was still figuring out how things worked from a business perspective and what my social media strategy was. Immediately, Andy shared some best practices with me (in plain language!) and I knew my start-up network needed him.
This week, he co-hosted the meetup Strategic Focus for StartUps and shared his top three tips for new businesses on social media platforms.
As most learning takes place in a comfortable, small circle of peers I decided from the get-go that my meetups have limited seating (up to 15 people). The informal and small group was setting the right tone as Andy shared the basics of social media.
Figure out the best social media platform.
Twitter is fast, Facebook gives you the chance to have a dialogue, and YouTube is a great for sharing tips and presentations. Pinterest has never been “my thing” and my LinkedIn profile is always updated. And then I learned about Google +.
Overwhelmed with the possibilities out there I instinctively knew I had to choose my best platforms. To me, LinkedIn was a given and opted to have a business page. Twitter was also highly rated by me because I had enjoyed the fast pace and article sharing opportunities in the past.
Andy made me realize this week adding Facebook was the right choice – it has the fastest growing demographic on Facebook in the 45 to 54 year age bracket. Additionally, Google is the way to find business in your field of expertise, and Facebook is the way to find a specific business.
Your community wants personality.
Social media is community driven and it takes a while to build your network, so have patience! (Easier said than done.) This meetup gave an opportune moment to learn more about what a community wants.
A community starts with a relationship that you keep feeding. While communities might differ on the variety of platforms, your personality is the same. This is seen by the articles you share, and also by your humour. As relationships are based on your personality and the click people have with you this makes total sense.
Consistency is the key to the treasure.
Ouch, this is my latest challenge! I commit to creating, sharing and posting valuable content and this takes time. I love commenting on other people’s posts and this too takes time. Working directly with my clients also takes time, as does administrative work. And then there is time I wish to spend with family and friends.
Balancing all of this is not so easy as thought beforehand. (I know you too ever started something new only to find out it’s hard to keep it up because you didn’t realize all the implications!) There are some planning tools available, and my favourite is Hootsuite.
It’s not just about planning ahead though; it is about finding the right posting balance that works for you and your community. I post more often on Twitter than Facebook and LinkedIn for example. My aim for Facebook is to share articles with a personal story or anecdote.
Much more to learn!
There is plenty to learn such as setting up a promotional campaign on Facebook and more. What would you like to know more about? I’m more than happy to create more learning events at the meetup group, so please take this opportunity and share your challenges.