Individuals and businesses can find it difficult to get started with social media. It takes time to master social media, and there is a learning curve. These are the top dos and Don’ts to help you save time and grow your social media authority faster.
Start small and only try one or two services at a given time. Many newbies join every social network available and attempt to grow each one. You’d be surprised at how long they last. It cannot be easy to create profiles on multiple social media sites. Therefore, it is best only to tackle a few at a time.
After you have found the best ones for your brand or you, you can start to narrow down your focus. Eventually, you may want to expand your social media strategy and include additional services. However, it would help if you crawled before you could walk.
As your confidence grows, start small and expand to other social media networks. Success breeds success.
Buy a widget
A widget can be placed on your website to promote your social networks. Your blog is the best place to get followers. It’s easier to get your friends and readers to vote for your content than get strangers to do the same. A widget can be added to your content.
Facebook offers a widget-maker that you can use. The Twitter meme badge can also be added to your website.
Test your widgets and buttons often.
Start testing which social media profiles have the greatest impact. Then, drop the rest. If your site is doing well on Facebook but not getting voted on Digg often, you can remove the Digg vote button.
Sites often have a lot of buttons and widgets. A gazillion widget placed at each article’s end creates noise and annoys readers. Find out which buttons get clicked and remove those that don’t convert. You will only need two to three widgets per page in the ideal world.
Google Analytics can help you determine which buttons are most effective. Goals will also allow you to see who is clicking what. To see which type of buttons gets more clicks, you can also use A/B.
Your followers shouldn’t be annoyed.
It sounds like common sense, right. Many companies just getting started with social media believe that the best way to promote their brand is to post coupons, offers, and any other relevant information.
Rule of thumb: Avoid it if it is something that you don’t want to receive.
Your social media goal should be helpful first. Brands that are helpful and not self-promotional shills will be admired and followed by people. Ask first.
Post useful links to industry articles, answer queries and engage. If you are helpful, you will get more followers and engagement.
Do not worry about the following counts.
Do not believe the spammy ebooks that claim you can get thousands of followers in just a few days. It’s possible to do this, and it’s not difficult. Most of the followers you’ll have are bots. They may be following you to see if you will follow them back. They are not followers that would engage with your ideas.
Social media followers should listen to you and engage with you. Ten followers are more valuable than 1000 bots.
Organically building a strong social media presence takes time. If you focus on creating great content and being helpful, the followers will follow.
Learn from the pros
Everybody has a different approach to social media. Sometimes it is best to look at the true social media experts. Lee Odden shows how someone uses Twitter and Facebook to help others, increasing his social media influence.
There are many great examples of people who understand how to interact with others and create powerful social media profiles. To find Twitter experts in your niche, check out sites such as WeFollow.
Don’t overlook niche social media sites.
People often think of Facebook or Twitter when they think about social media. There are hundreds (or even thousands?) of social media sites. There are many social media sites and networks that you can use for brand promotion. Even though a network may not be large, it doesn’t mean that it won’t impact your social media strategy. Targeted social media sites with niches can often attract more targeted traffic than larger sites.
You can promote your site through smaller social networks if you are smart. One example is my web development posts that made it to the top of Dzone. This social media site is for web developers. The article was published on the Dzone front page, which resulted in many Delicious savings. It also made it onto the Delicious front page. Delicious users voted up the story to the Digg top page. By simply submitting my website to a niche news site with a great title, I was able to reach the Digg and Delicious homepages.
Niche social news websites can be extremely powerful and easier to influence than larger sites. Below is a list of news sites sorted by category.
Follow people in your niche on Twitter.
A person who shares your interests is the ideal Twitter follower. These directories can help you find like-minded people to be followed on Twitter. There’s a good chance that many will also follow you back.
After you have started following these people, it’s time to start interfacing with them. You can join discussions and retweet any comments they make that could benefit your community.
This will help you increase your followers and give you more power within your niche. You will make great friends who will help promote your site and content. Remember always to give first and then ask later.
Keep Your Head Up
Many social media novices try to establish themselves quickly as experts. However, they don’t have any evidence to support this claim. You can search on Twitter for “social media specialists”. Many people have only a few followers. Why shouldn’t an expert have more followers?
Nobody likes to be a “know-it-all,” as with everything in life. Be humble. Ask questions. Do not preach, but teach. You can let others do the hyping. They will if you are helpful and humble.