ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Bernadette Schwerdt
Bernadette Schwerdt As the founder of the Australian School Of Copywriting, Bernadette has helped over 5,000 individuals and businesses use words to engage, promote, inspire and sell. As the former Guest Marketing Reporter on Channel 9’s The Small Business Show, and the Executive Producer of Fairfax Digital’s online business chat show “Secrets of Aussie Online Entrepreneurs”, Bernadette is a recognised expert at coaching and guiding businesses on how to deliver exceptional marketing results on a limited budget. In today’s tough economic climate, this has never been more important. Visit http://www.copyschool.com.

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Getting Started on Social Media

October 19, 2012 | Bernadette Schwerdt

Learn why you can't ignore the importance of Social Media to your business.
Learn why you can't ignore the importance of Social Media to your business.

I’ve been talking to a lot of business owners lately about social media, and no word of lie, here are the top four comments I hear about this subject – in no particular order:

  1. I Hate Social Media!
  2. My Customers Don’t Use It So I Won’t Either.
  3. You Mean I Have To Do My Job And That Too?
  4. Why?

If you’ve ever said one of the following statements, it might be helpful for you to understand what the top social media tools are and how to get started on each.

The most popular channels are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube.  I could write a thesis on each one so for this article I’ll cover Facebook as it’s one of the easiest to understand and to get started on.

Getting Started On Facebook For Business:

Facebook is loved mostly because it helps friends and old school buddies track down and keep in touch with each other.  But from a business perspective it’s become an important tool for helping a company brand their product or service and keep in direct touch with their customers.

Step 1: Set up a Business Page:

The first thing you need to do is set up a Business Page for your business.  It’s really simple to do, it’s free and once the page is up and running, you can start to play with it and have some fun.

Before you do though, it’s worth checking out how others are doing it so that you can discover what you like and what you don’t. I always go to the ‘big boys’ first when researching because my take is that they’ve spend oodles on research and development so they already know what they’re doing.  No point us both making the same mistakes!

 So, type in the names of all the big companies that you see advertising on TV already and choose industries that have deep pockets – banks, mobile phones, airlines, makeup and beauty, chocolate manufacturers, cars etc.

Then, once you see what they’re doing, work out what you like and what you don’t and then start creating your page.

Step 2: Choose a brilliant cover photo and profile image:

Choose a really engaging cover photo and profile photo for your Page. They are the first things people see and the reader will determine how interesting you and your page are by these photos. Go online to search for ‘royalty-free images’ and pick images that best represent your business.

Step 3:  Create Some Content:

You need to create content for your Facebook page so instead of being on the backfoot each day and writing random posts with no common thread, take a few hours out of your day and create what’s known as a Content Calendar.  This is just a spreadsheet that helps you plan out the content you want to upload. 

For each post/update, you need to know when you’re going to post it (date), what you’re going to say (Update Text), what link you’re going to include (hopefully back to your website) and maybe a call to action (“get your free ebook from our site”). 

Step 4:  Ask people to “Like” your Business Page:

Having a Business Page is all well and good but if no-one knows you’re there, there’s not much point. To build your ‘Likes’, send an emailer to your entire database asking them to ‘Like’ your page.  If you can offer them an incentive to do so – like a free report, an ebook, a sample, a discount offer etc, even better.  

If you thought Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and LinkedIn were just fads and were hoping they’d fade away before you had to use them, I have bad news for you. Social media is not going anywhere – in fact, it’s growing exponentially and it’s literally changing the face of business as we speak. So why not take the time to get a handle on how they work and start trying it out for your own business.

For those who do use Social Media what have your experiences been? What have you done to make it work for you? Or perhaps you have struggled to get a handle on it. Please share your comments below.

  • http://www.thewordco.com.au/ Samantha Schelling

    Hi Bernadette,

    I remember thinking that computers would “go away” when they first came to my secondary school. Now my job depends on one!

    I had a giggle at your 4 top comments. I’ve cycled through numbers 2-4, but while I’ve never hated social media, what annoys me about it is the posting of useless minutiae about what someone had for breakfast.

    I must have worked number one out of my system too though, as I recommend social media as an essential part of the marketing strategy for new clients and am re-working some social media for an existing one!