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 and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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