10 things you must know before starting social media


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Understanding these 10 key aspects will help you develop the right social media strategy, to help connect with your customers online.

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10 things you must know before starting social media

  1. 1. 10 Things You Must Know BEFORE Starting Social Media Written by John Young Learn more about social strategy and real-time communications at johnyoungblog.com
  2. 2. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John YoungTerms and ConditionsThe publisher has made every effort to be as accurate and complete as possible in this eBook,notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contentswithin are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet.While all attempts have been made to verify information in this report, the publisher accepts noresponsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter within. Anyperceived slights of specific persons, peoples or organizations are unintentional.This eBook is to highlight general requirements for a social media strategy. In practical advicebooks like this there is no guarantee of outcomes. Readers are cautioned to rely on their ownjudgment about their individual circumstances and abilities to act accordingly.This eBook is not intended to be used as a source of legal, business, accounting or financialadvice. All readers are encouraged to seek services of competent professionals in the legal,business, accounting and financial fields.All Rights ReservedNo part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic, ormechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrievalwithout express written, dated and signed permission from the author.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 2 of 15
  3. 3. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John YoungIntroductionThank you for downloading this eBook. My aim is for you to understand the basicrequirements of incorporating Social Media into your business.If after reading this you have any questions, please ask them on any of my socialnetworks or via my website, johnyoungblog.com.The strength of Social Media is through content sharing. Let your friends know you‟rereading this ebook by sharing on Twitter or Facebook.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 3 of 15
  4. 4. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “The strongest of all warriors are these two -- Time and Patience.” -- Leo Tolstoy 1 ROI (Return of Investment) will not happen overnight Investment: Noun: The action or process of investing money for profit or material resultThought I would attack this point early on. This ebook is not about getting richquick or making thousands of „friends‟ overnight. There are plenty of otherebooks making those outrageous claims. This ebook will arm you with the rightknowledge to put into perspective social media and your business.Networking takes time. Any overnight success is usually the result of many yearsof hard work. Social Media is about connecting and networking with peoplethrough an online environment. Trust, like in any relationship, is developed overtime. There is no fast track.The aim will be to work on developing connections with key influencers in yourindustry. They will be the ones to share your message with a large audience andhelp grow your network.The return of investment from Social Media will be large, provided youunderstand it will take time and effort on your behalf to grow. Some connectionswill take months to develop, so be prepared, this is a long term strategy.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 4 of 15
  5. 5. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John YoungHow can you measure ROI? This will depend on your focus. What are you tryingto achieve through Social Media: Sales? Customer loyalty? Lead generation?Brand exposure? Newsletter signup? Enquiry phone calls?When you have defined your target, you can build some metrics to measure,which can include:  Facebook likes  Retweets  LinkedIn and other shares  Reblogs  Links back  Comments  Time spent on page  Average page views per visitor  Followers  @mentionsYou can also go deeper and measure:  Quality of leads  Retention period  Lifetime value per lead  Length of sales cycle  Number of new customers referred by leadThere are many tools that allow you to measure these kinds of interactions,however before you search for the tools, make a clear decision on what youwant to achieve.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 5 of 15
  6. 6. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -- George Bernard Shaw 2 This is a communication strategy, meaning you need to communicate, i.e. be social. Communication: Noun: The imparting or exchanging of information or newsSocial Media is a communication tool, but fundamentally a social tool. That is, inessence, what it comes down to.Social Media has proven to be a quick response mechanism. If you only plan to„check in‟ every now and again you will miss discussions. You need to havemonitoring in place and contribute to important discussions as they happen.This is real-time communication, if you cannot respond in a reasonabletimeframe, your followers will lose interest. Your online community needs to seeyou are available, they want to know there is no contact barrier, this means youneed to have the right processes in place to monitor and respond.Social Media is about being public, available and communicating.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 6 of 15
  7. 7. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it” -- Horace Mann 3People rarely change their habits; work on fitting into their lives. Habit: Noun; A recurrent, often unconscious, pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.We all have habits and patterns of behavior which are repeated, in some casesdaily. This means many people have little time to do things outside their comfortzone or outside their habits.Even websites people visit are habitual. This is a point to really stress. Don‟texpect your content to change habits, people are too busy these days. Changecould happen, however it will be far easier to fit with their schedule andenvironment.Some people prefer to access content via Facebook, some prefer Twitter, otherswill listen to podcasts and others will have their own preferences. Avoid trying tochange how they access content, work on fitting into how they prefer toconsume it.Determine their habits through research and then provide your content in a waythat meets their pattern of behavior.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 7 of 15
  8. 8. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” -- Epictetus 4 Listen before action. Listen: Verb: Make an effort to hear something; be alert and ready to hear somethingYou could dive right in if you like, but there is etiquette on each social network.Social Media is about customers and their need to be heard. Let them discoverwho you are, but don‟t shout your message at them.It‟s easy to go in and start talking about how good you are, but how does thatsolve their problems? Listen to what they‟re saying and asking before you startacting. Provide solutions by first understanding their problems.Some tools to help you listen are:  socialmention.com - Real-time social media search and analysis  kurrently.com - Real-time search engine for Facebook and Twitter  google.com/alerts - Email updates of the latest relevant Google results  technorati.com - Leading blog search engine  trendrr.com - comparison graphing to show relationships and discover trends in real time  radian6.com - complete platform to listen, measure and engagewww.johnyoungblog.com Page 8 of 15
  9. 9. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” -- William A. Foster 5 Quality Quality: Noun: The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of somethingContent is something there is not a lack of online, however quality content is notas abundant. Don‟t contribute to noise, why would anybody listen? Quality is oneof the pillars of success.People don‟t have the time to waste on poor content (remember point 3regarding habits and busy schedules). Provide quality and people will make timefor you, provide quality and people will want more from you.If you aren‟t confident about your writing skills, hire a copywriter, this isdefinitely worth the investment. If you want your content to be shared, makesure it is worth sharing.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 9 of 15
  10. 10. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “Part of courage is simple consistency.” -- Peggy Noonan 6 Consistency Consistency: Noun: The achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over timeAgain I will reference the habits of people. If you can provide consistent qualitycontent, you will have a better chance of fitting into the routine of yourfollowers.If you‟re inconsistent, if you don‟t post often or at regular times, you‟re making itharder to become a part of someone‟s habit, making it more difficult for you tobe seen. Once you are part of their habit, it will make it easier to connect.It may mean a post per day or one video per week or an update at a regularinterval. Whilst you don‟t need to be a slave to social media, if you can developconsistency, your content can become integrated into the busy schedules of yourfollowers. They will begin to expect content at regular intervals. Pick a timelineyou can manage and stick to it.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 10 of 15
  11. 11. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing.” -- Chris Brogan 7 Are your customers online; is Social Media worth it? Customer: Noun: A person or organization that buys goods or services from a store or businessSocial Media isn‟t for everyone. Surprised to hear that? Just because you can have aTwitter account, what does that mean? What are you trying to achieve?Is your business one that requires a social presence? This is a question you need toreally ask yourself. Social Media will make it easier for you to connect with customers,but it will also make it easier for them to connect with you – make sure you are readyfor them.Also make sure your target market is online. You may go to a lot of effort only to findout they‟re not interested or involved with social channels. Just because Facebook andTwitter have millions of users, this does not mean they will all start following you.I‟m not saying don‟t use Social Media, because it is a valuable communicationtool. I am saying you should first understand why you are using it and secondwhat you should expect from your target market online.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 11 of 15
  12. 12. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “There are a lot of brilliant people in all walks of life. That doesnt make you a manager of people. Our jobs are about managing people, crisis management on a daily basis. If you dont have people skills or the experience, things can snowball.” -- Brian Sabean 8 Do you have the right team to manage the social strategy? Manage: Verb: Be in charge of (a company, establishment, or undertaking); administer; runYou are busy, that is a fact of life, we all have „things‟ to do. Do you have the right staffor even enough staff to manage your social strategy?Social media requires monitoring, engagement and communication. There aretools which can assist, but the information still needs to be digested, monitoredand replied to. Tools will bring you information, it‟s the people that sort throughit.Allow at least one hour of your time per day, if not more. Now, that hour couldbe broken up over the day, eg 10 min blocks, depending on what you are tryingto achieve. The key is to have the right team in place to ensure it works well,which comes down to strategy.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 12 of 15
  13. 13. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “We dont think that any one hardware platform can meet everybodys needs and we provide multiple platforms for that reason.” -- John Patrick 9 It’s not all about the platforms Platform: Noun: An opportunity to voice ones views or initiate actionI hear many people say they need to setup a Twitter account for their business. Why?What makes Twitter so good? Look at Facebook, it‟s huge, but does that mean you musthave a Facebook profile or Fan Page?Look past the platforms and consider the message and what that means for yourcustomers. Any platform is just another way to facilitate communication andengagement.It comes down to understanding  What you communicate  Who you engage with  Consumer preference for content formatWhen you know these things you can choose the right platform/s to use.Look for the platform which will have the best outcome for you and focus on that.Choosing the right platform will be a result of your listening research, look for activityand engagement. Become a master of a single platform, then branch out from there.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 13 of 15
  14. 14. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John Young “Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.” -- John P. Kotter 10 Strategy Strategy: Noun: A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aimI‟ve been alluding to this in most of the previous points.Strategy is the key to your success, if you walk in blind, you won‟t know whereto go. Spend time listening, when we listen, we learn more about our customersand we know the preferred platform for communication.Remember to listen and have the tools in place to enable ongoing monitoring.Return of investment won‟t happen overnight and without a strategy, it may noteven happen. Ensure you communicate with your audience, this is thefoundation of social media.When you consider the tips within this guide in great detail, you are on your wayto developing the strategy for success. Not all strategies are created equal, whatworks for one person will not necessarily work for another.www.johnyoungblog.com Page 14 of 15
  15. 15. 10 Things You Must Know Before Starting In Social Media – John YoungIf you need ideas or advice on what to do next, I encourage you to join theconversation at my website, johnyoungblog.com, at my Facebook page, or viaTwitter.If you found this guide useful please share on Twitter or Facebook.Thank you for your time.John Young@johnfrankiejFacebook meGoogle+www.johnyoungblog.com Page 15 of 15