Businesses are always challenged when it comes to social media. One of the major concerns is that business owners use sites like Facebook and Twitter like they do in their personal time when, in fact, social media is immensely different for companies. Below, you’ll find out how to jumpstart social media to make any online campaign worth the effort.images (9)

Account Branding

To start with, you need to decide which platforms you are going to use. Different social websites have different purposes, audiences, and ease of use, though figuring out which ones to use often takes experimentation. Marketers need to decide how much time and effort they want to put into them, too. Here are a few pointers for picking platforms:

  • Facebook: You can use Facebook as a pseudo-homepage for your company. Consumers are already familiar with Facebook, too, so you don’t have to worry about hesitant follows or likes.
  • Twitter: Consumers have come to respect Twitter as well, though like Facebook it is important for businesses to convince people to follow them by posting good information.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn takes a more professional stance on social media. It is a great platform for connecting with other businesses and for posting PR-type material.
  • Google+: The main advantage of Google+ is that businesses can get listed on map applications and show up more frequently on search engines.

Aside from these four, you need to consider Instagram, Pinterest, and several others. While it may seem best to start off creating accounts on all of them, it is often easier for businesses to start on Facebook and grow an audience before expanding.

When it comes to learning how to jumpstart social media, you’ll find that having consistent branding info across all platforms is incredibly effective. Use logos, images, profile names (i.e. company name), and other information to fill up your profiles as much as possible.

Herding Followers

Once you have an account or two up and running, it’s time to start gathering followers. For a small business, the first followers are likely friends, local businesses, and people who are interested in a company’s development. These are the fans that will share content and who are the most interested in your social activity.

Unfortunately, there is a cap on these “first followers,” and your follower number will taper off rather quickly. This is when content creation becomes the number one priority.

Boosting with Content

Knowing how to jumpstart social media means you are able to create unique, inspiring, entertaining, and informative content that encourages likes and shares. Content can get complicated, though, when you’re juggling multiple platforms and trying to find relevant information to share to your followers.

To start with, decide what makes your company the most interesting. Why do people want to follow you? What do they have to gain? A lot of consumer stores, for example, will throw up deals and discounts on Facebook to run promotions. While this is surely one way to generate minimal activity, the best social marketers create conversations.

Social media is not one-sided marketing like a billboard or windshield flyer. It is a chance for businesses to talk with their followers and fans. To do this, you need to post a few different types of content in order to stay relevant on your followers’ newsfeeds. But remember: No one has to follow or share your content — your goal should be to convince them otherwise.

  • The Informative Post: These short and sweet posts are usually directed to increasing awareness about what’s going on in your company. This also includes links to articles that mention your community/company/industry, press releases, and any special offerings.
  • The Entertaining Post: Why so serious all the time? Try to create content that plays off your business/industry with an entertaining twist. In fact, most of this content isn’t created by you at all. Find some YouTube videos, funny Web comics, or images that draw attention.
  • The Inspiring Post: Inspirational posting is difficult but, with the right approach, these are the greatest conversation starters. Find something opinionated, controversial, or highly engaging that provokes a reaction. The beauty is that these posts seldom relate to your business.

And there you have it, the backbone fundamentals of learning how to jumpstart social media.

Photo by: Kyle