10 Tips for Starting and Building a Social Media Presence

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10 Tips for Starting and Building a Social Media Presence

On social media, your No. 1 goal is to engage with people, not to promote your product. People are bombarded by digital content all the time. Let them see that you are a person, that you want to interact with them, that you care about the things that concern them (safety, building a small business, family, etc.).

1. Define your audience. This is a general definition. Stay-at-home moms? Small-business owners? Luxury car owners?

2. Create a profile of your audience. This is where you get specific. What is important (family, brand names, functional vs. fashionable, etc.), where and how do they spend their free time, what publications do they read, what programs do they watch, etc.

3. Choose applicable platforms. Male-dominated audiences are not likely to be on Pinterest in large numbers. In today’s climate, politics are big on Twitter. Figure out where your audience is and be there. Start with two or three platforms. Get good at those before expanding.

4. Create and cultivate relevant content. First and foremost: know what interests your audience.

  • Create your own content that is relevant to your target audience. This could be blog posts, infographics, white papers, contests, etc. 
  • Find content from other sources that is relevant to your target audience. This could be a blog from someone else in the industry an article from an industry/trade magazine, a relevant cartoon or comic, etc. (But be sure to get permission before re-posting.) 
  • Share industry trends and data. 
  • Address audience concerns and/or frustrations. 
  • Share videos. 
  • Set up a Google alert for terms related to your industry. Google will send web content with those terms to you on a daily basis.

5) Always include a picture. Posts without pictures (on any platform) receive less attention than posts that include a picture.

6) Do a daily drill.

  • Post your content. 
  • Reply to all posts, messages, etc., on your account that need to be addressed. 
  • Reply to, retweet, like, etc., posts by at least three of your followers. 
  • Comment on three posts from people in your industry who are not following you.

7) Don’t use social media solely as a place to advertise. Use the 80/20 rule — 80% content posts, 20% product posts.

8) Consider boosting or promoting posts. Start small and try this. Use trackable URLs (you need to be using Google Analytics for this). See what kind of a return you get. Decide if you should continue boosting/promoting. Make sure you have a designated place for users to be directed (e.g. a landing page on your website). This won't be worthwhile for all businesses, but run some trials.

9) Use social media to promote your events.

10) Have a crisis plan. I highly recommend the U.S. Air Force’s plan.


    • A crisis requires prompt response. 
    • With social media, transparency is important.


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