When I first met Joanne* and she heard what I did for a living, her first words were: “I’d love to learn how to use social media for my business, but where must I find time for it in my schedule?”. Largely due to popular belief and some stories about addiction in the media, many now believe that social media takes too much of your time to get involved in it at all.
While I certainly agree that it’s very concerning watching someone stare at their computer or phone screens all hours of the day or night, furiously trying to stay up to date on everyone’s social lives, this thankfully does not need to be the focus of your social media exposure as a business owner or entrepreneur.
First, you have to figure out what you want from social media, what your message is, who you want to reach, which tools to use for it, etc. (via our Social Media Strategy workshop or consultation) Once you are more focused in your approach, you will need to learn how to “read” the information on the various platforms. Twitter, especially, can seem very cryptic until you understand the way people talk on there, what a #hashtag is, what RT means, how to get those weird little links, what NOT to do, etc.
Joanne took one look at Tweetdeck and recoiled in horror! “You can’t be serious!”, she shouted. “It’s like a Greek slot machine!”
We spent our first session discussing her business, a retail gift shop, and over the next few sessions we fine-tuned her strategy, got her LinkedIn profile up to date, and finally started her blog. She took to LinkedIn and blogging like a fish to water and excelled at finding groups, questions and discussions about suppliers, new trends and general shopkeeping. She wrote about finding just the right gift for friends, kids, old people, lovers and parents, and expanded her stock to include amazing gifts for each of these groups. Customers she told about the blog enjoyed it, commented and asked her advice, and came to the shop with her ideas from the blog! Social media marketing was working for her, and she loved it!
When she was ready, we added a Facebook Page and ultimately a Twitter account. She now uses a few tools and applications to keep up to date with her followers and others’ potential need for gifts, she can give her opinion on anything from the latest news, the petrol price, her local supermarket, school holiday activities and much more! She found that she is brilliant at starting conversations with strangers who eventually help her find new customers, products or just give her advice.
Joanne loves the interaction with everyone while she’s safely in her shop, and people are entertained by her updates, pictures, wit and honesty, so they follow and help her where they can. She has weekly diary entries and time reserved for her social media campaigns and interaction, blogging and research, and she has improved her “new customer” measurement (determined specifically for her during the strategy sessions) by leaps and bounds!
The best way to get success out of a social media campaign is to learn how to strategise & plan for it, learn which tools to use, how to use them and… most importantly… how to measure your success!
Our Social Media Strategy workshop or a private consultation will help you learn about the steps involved.
* name changed on request