Today, we are experiencing a social network overload. There are constantly new networks coming out and the current top networks are constantly updating and finding new ways to improve the experience. This makes quite a challenge for business owners to decide which networks to be on. Regardless of which network you choose, here are some tips that can be applied to begin utilizing any social network like a pro.

  1. Enjoy the personal side – In order to be successful with social media you need to enjoy the personal side of using it. Using it personally will give you a better understanding of how a typical user feels when utilizing the network. It will help in identifying things to avoid or current hot trends that you would not be able to identify without this use. Would you create a TV commercial without ever watching TV? No, then do not start promoting yourself on a social network without getting the feel for how a typical consumer uses the network.
  1. Establish Mentor Business – Utilize the search feature (almost every social network has this) to help find businesses in your industry that are really doing well on social media. Follower counts are great but also really focus on how much engagement the page is getting on their posts. When you have found several pages you enjoy keep a close watch on them and use this as a way to develop your posts. The idea is to take the good from their posts and merge this with your own thoughts and create something that is unique to your page.
  1. Watch your competitors – Always keep an eye on your competitors. This will let you know what they are up to. Do they have a large active following? Are their pages filled with positive experiences or complaints? Are they offering new services/deals? The only way to know is to watch. Do not be afraid to follow them it just lets them know you are out there.
  1. Network – Networking is everything! One of the most common questions I get is “how do I increase my fan base”. Well once you have invited all your friends/ e-mail contacts and put out that newsletter blast the best way to increase your fan base is to network. Many of the top social media networks offer group and community pages that are based off of every type of industry and interest you can imagine. These are great hubs to network and find others that will be interested in your business. No community or group pages for your industry? Then create your own and invite people there. Also, do not forget your offline networking. Get active with local groups, join your local chamber, partner with a non-profit and use these opportunities to be actively steering people to your pages. Be sure to place your pages links on all of your promotional material and actively encourage people to follow you. Be sure to provide them a reason. What will they get out of it?
  1. Set goals – If you truly want to win with using social media you need to set goals for your page. What do you want it to do? Now what is the game plan to reach that? Some example goals are: I would like to get 20 people in my storefront this week from my Facebook page. I would like to see 200 visits driven to my website from this post. I would like to gain X amount of followers from this advertisement. Now that you have set your goals you need to track your progress. Keep a tally of who is entering your store and from what network. Monitor your analytics (each social network offers their own analytics or third party solutions to obtain that data). Remembering the goal and watching the progression to that goal should motivate you. Set yours goals and work backwards to achieve it.