Part 1 - Introduction to Social Media
It would seem that the world and his wife is always tweeting, liking, poking and living their life in cyberspace. But what does that mean to you? Can you use these modern mediums to reach new customers and expand your digital presence? The answer is probably yes. The difficulty lies with which one of the ever growing list of social media sites do you use, how are you going to manage them and how are you going to get the best from it. This is the first post in a short series that will help you to better understand the basics of social media.
Firstly, what is social media? It is a relatively new concept that has been in the public consciousness for less than a decade. In simple terms, it is content generated by the user that they wish to share with other users. Some formats have come and gone and some are better known than others. We will focus on the two biggest players in social media, Facebook and Twitter.
It doesn't matter if you are a huge multi-national company or Mrs Miggins trying to publicise her award winning local pies, used correctly social media can help you. You can use it to communicate with your existing customer base, to target new customers or both. Let's say you want to get feedback on a new service, advertise a new course or promote your latest promotion, there are ways to get this across to your customers without having to spend a penny.
When someone follows your updates then they will see what you have posted whilst they browse their particular social preference. Once they are a 'follower' then your updates will be viewed on a site that they actively return to or a mobile app they use on a regular basis. This means you can get your message across simply and easily whilst people go about their daily digital lives.
You can also use social media to share your website or blog. When integrated into your site, visitors can share content, posts and other parts of your website with all of their friends or followers. The potential is endless. Let's say John visits your site and shares it on Facebook. John has 250 friends who could potentially see what he's shared. John's friend Jim really likes the post about your site so he shares it too, but Jim has 400 friends and two of them share it to their friends. Already you've potentially reached over a thousand people and the chain goes on and on.
What do I post? You may ask. Success may not come from how many people you have following you but from what and how you communicate with them. Your friends and family may like to know that you had sausages for dinner but try to think about what your audience will want to read. Try sparking up a conversation. Mrs Miggins could post something like, 'What's your favourite pie filling?' and her followers will post comments, reply, retweet etc depending on where it was posted.
Over the next two posts we will help you to understand how to get the best from Facebook and Twitter. Don't know what a hashtag is? Or not sure what happens when someone likes a post? We'll break it down so you can easily get started.
Look out for Part 2 - Facebook. Coming soon.
By David Tilyer
Tags: Social Media