Businesses today have a lot of pressure to get on social media. Customers demand it, competitors take advantage of it, and even personal social media use encourages it.

If your company isn’t on social media, but you’ve been considering it, don’t jump into it just quite yet. At least not until you’ve read this post.

To get your company started on social media, please follow these 6 steps.

1. Ask yourself why you want to be on social media.

Before you set up your first account, ask yourself why you want an account at all. What do you hope to achieve with it? Which business goals will it help you reach? Will it help you get closer to your corporate vision? Does it fit in with your marketing and communications strategies?

Like your mum told you, just because everyone else is doing it isn’t a good enough reason.

2. Research where your clients are.

Don’t assume you know where your clients (or potential clients for that matter) hang out online. They might very well be on Facebook, but perhaps they’re on Instagram or Google+. Find out for sure before you go any further.

You can take advantage of your client email list and ask everyone to let you know. You can ask at the end of every sales call or with every customer at the till. You can even set up a survey online.

3. Create your account.

Most social media sites make it super easy to set up an account. Take a look at these examples.

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4. Build your followers.

After you’ve created your account, you need to find people to follow and people to follow you. Search for clients, suppliers, and partners. Email your client list to let them know you’re online. Invite your family and friends. If you service a specific geographical region, follow some of the movers and shakers in that area.

5. Share content.

Once you’ve set up your page and you’ve found some followers, it’s time to start sharing content. For that matter, you could even begin sharing content before finding followers, so they can determine if they want to follow you based on the content they see.

Choose content that connects with your followers. Focus on eye-catching images and clever video. If you’re a cake decorating company, maybe do short tutorial videos. If you’re a home builder, create galleries for your new homes.

Also, a general rule is 20% content that is specific to your company and 80% content from others that is related to your company. People don’t want to hear “Sell! Sell!” from you all the time. Sometimes? Sure, but there’s very little value in it for them. Curate content from others that is related to your industry and share it with your followers to become a content expert in the field.

6. Engage.

Social media is about give and take. If someone retweets something you shared, retweet something they shared. If someone comments on your Facebook post, reply. If someone repins something of yours on Pinterest, repin something they shared.

Follow the conversations happening in your community and industry, and jump in when you have something relevant to share. Answer questions, give advice, and make recommendations. Remember, providing value doesn’t always mean making a sale.

Follow these 6 steps and you will easily be on your way to not only getting started on social media but becoming successful, too.

What advice do you have for others starting on social media? Share it below.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter, copyeditor, and social media manager. I blog on writing and social media tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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