Getting Started With Social Media

social-mediaThe other night, hubby and I were talking about a new business venture he wanted to start – an actual, physical business that would require a decent amount of square footage, parking, and lots of startup inventory. A comic book store, to be more specific. And we discussed how the key to the success of this business would be to get a lot of traffic in the door right off the bat. And since we don’t have an extra $500,000 just lying around, the physical business plan got put on hold.

We also talked about lots of the things he wanted to do with the business – to engage local comic artists, engender himself and his “brand” with the local comics community, expose new people to the fun of the graphic novel, etc. All of those sorts of things can be done *before* the physical business gets started. So that’s where we are now. Tonight, after dinner, I bought some domain names for him, set up a site. I had barely installed WordPress on this new site when he says, “Now I need to figure out how to do the Twitter.” Oy. This could be interesting…

The most important thing to remember when wanting to get started with social media is to figure out where your target audience is. Those pesky demographic and psychographic models you (should have) made up when you started your business and marketing plan – those things come in to play here. Because doing social media right for your business is all about knowing where your audience is, not just where you like to hang out. So, B2C ventures would probably tend to do better on Facebook and Pinterest, and maybe Google+ because those tend to be places where vast majorities of consumery people hang out. A B2B venture could fare better on LinkedIn, depending on the nature of your target industry(ies). If you’re talking to geeks, then tweet. If you want to appeal to gamer audiences, I have it on good authority that you should hang out on Google+. (Incidentally, while writing this, I typed Google- like 6 times and couldn’t seem to get my finger to the right key.)

If you think your target audience might be on more than one social media channel, pick the one that’s most populated or that you feel more comfortable with to start with. You can add the other platforms in later, but trying to start a following on all of them at the same time will likely leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted very quickly.

Now, with that said, it is a smart idea to reserve your name by creating an account with all of the popular social media channels, so that when you are ready to dive in to them, you’ll be able to use the same name/brand that you’ve been cultivating elsewhere. You can go to each of the sites individually, or use a site like http://knowem.com/ to tell you which channels have your preferred username available. Knowem also has an option where they will register the accounts for you for a fee, but if you have some time and a keyboard, you can easily do it yourself.

So, where do you start? Well, I recommend that every business (or hobby or organization or whatever you’re doing that needs a brand, even if it’s blogging about comic books) has accounts with the following social platforms. Remember, you don’t have to use them all at once in the beginning, but grab your brand username where you can so no one else can snag it when you become the next viral craze. (In no particular order)

If there are other sites that appeal to you, or that you know are relevant to your industry or target audience, go ahead and grab them, too.

In future posts, I’ll share the tips and tidbits that I’ve learned that can be useful on some of these platforms, so be sure to come back. Or subscribe to the RSS link. Or sign up for my newsletter. Or Like my Facebook page. Or follow me on Twitter. ‘Cause, you know, people share things on social media. (And you can use the buttons below to share this post on your favorite social media site.)

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Getting Started With Social Media”

  1. Great advice Terri. You are sooo correct in saying that you don’t have to do all social sites at once (but I do like your suggestion to reserve your name!). What I particularly agree with is to have your “brand” in place before you start. Making sure your voice is consistent is really key to making sure your audience knows what you are all about!

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