If you run your own business, youâ€™ve no doubt considered a foray into social media marketing. You may have even given it a try – Â with mixed results.Â Like many, you may be sitting on the sidelines -Â not sure where to begin – waiting to see what happens.Â And while not doing anything is a sure way to get left behind – jumping in with both feet is a sure way to fail.
When all is said and done, social media marketing is nothing more than social influencing.Â What used to be called Â â€śword of mouthâ€ť, and you know how essential that can be to the success or failure of a business.Â The difference: potential impact.Â The phenomenal reach of social media means that not only can you spread the word farther and faster than ever before – its impact can be dramatic.Â Both positively or negatively.
Where to begin is often the first major hurdle.Â Remember – donâ€™t forsake your other, tried and true marketing techniques for Web 2.0.Â They still, and always will, play a part in your overall marketing strategy.Â Social media marketing is simply another component.Â There is a lot to learn so take it one step at a time.Â For our money, the best place to start is Twitter.Â Twitter is easy to learn and it gives you a good foothold and feel for the waters.Â Once mastered, you can move on to Facebook and some of the more than 200 other significant social media sites. Â If youâ€™re a professional and think that peer networks are important, you should also consider opening an account on LinkedIn.
Twitter is an engaging and influential real-time messaging system designed to work on both mobile devices and computers.Â Itâ€™s great for small groups of friends, business and special interest groups alike.Â Twitter enables you to broadcast short messages to your friends or “followers”.Â It also lets you specify which Twitter users you want to follow so you can read their messages in one place.
Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters so each message can be sent as a single SMS alert.Â That might not sound like much and itâ€™s not – but that doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t say a lot. Â Learning how to engage and inform in short bursts is part of Twitter’s charm.
Before anything else, you will need to sign up for an account. Â Donâ€™t worry – itâ€™s free! Â Twitter wonâ€™t spam you and itâ€™s probably going to be the easiest account you have ever signed up for.
Just go to the twitter home page and fill in the three boxes: name, email, and password then click sign up, thatâ€™s it – youâ€™re a member! Â Choosing the right â€ś nameâ€ť and â€śuser nameâ€ť is the most important thing you need to do at this point. Itâ€™s not a trivial decision and a lot has been written about it.Â We have listed a few good resources for doing this on our resources page so have a look at them – give it some thought and away you go. Â Of course, there are a few other things youâ€™re going to want to do but most of that can wait.
Once you have signed in and opened your account, take a few minutes to look around – Twitter will help you through it.Â Then go to Twitter Basics, here you will find nearly everything you need to know about Twitter and get answers to most of your questions.
The next thing start following a few other users. Â But before you do, it is best that you customized you twitter profile. You will need to add an image, your website address and preferably a custom look. Â One good way to get started doing this is by simply looking at what other users have done.Â You will truly find the good, the bad, and the down right ugly.
In our next installment, we will cover some of the quick and easy ways of customizing your account. Â The important thing to remember is that this is your brand. Â Keep in mind how you brand yourself on your website, other social media platforms and offline as well. Â You want to keep your branding consistent