Let’s Be Social 

Ah, social media. It was supposed to be the cheap, easy way to promote your business. But, if you don’t have it setup right from the beginning, it becomes an inefficient burden.

Here are several ways to make your social media work for you:
1. Decide which social media outlets are right for you.
There are three things to think about for this question: 1. Where are your customers/connectors? 2. What will be easy for you to manage? 3. What kind of content do you have? You can have something on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, the list goes on, but managing all of that becomes a waste of time. Tools like Hootsuite can help you keep it all organized but focusing on just 2-3 outlets will ensure that you are reaching your audience in a meaningful, less stressful way. You also want to make sure your content shines, so find a platform that will highlight it.

2. Find your handle.
Time to get creative! Much like finding a domain, it is possible that your business name has already been taken on social media. If that is the case, try using your location or a description instead, such as @CupcakeShopMKE or @bestcupcakesever. Namecheck is a great way to see if your domain and social media handles are available.

3. Imagery & Tone
Each social media outlet has a different tone and preferred way to communicate. For example, Facebook may be friendlier, LinkedIn more professional, and Instagram hashtaggier (come on, that’s a word, right?). While the content can be the same, each one demands that you talk to your audience in a slightly different way. Also, think about how you want to represent your brand across outlets. If you could imagine looking at all your posts from all your social media accounts on a bulletin board, could you tell that it was from the same company? Even with slight variations, does it have the same style and voice? For inspiration, look at similar companies or brands you love to see how they represent themselves across social media outlets. (Whatever you think about their food, Taco Bell does a great job with their social media.)

4. Management
As we mentioned before, tools like Hootsuite can be very helpful to manage all your social media in one place. (For more tools, check out this list on Lifewire.) One of the easiest things to do is set up time every week, or bi-weekly, to schedule posts. However, even with scheduled content, it’s important to check in regularly to stay, well, social. You want to respond to messages and comments as quickly as possible to add to the conversation or put out fires. If you have one or two people in your company that can share the responsibility, that can help avoid burn out.  

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