By Ellison Bloomfield
There are two questions I get asked by people who are trying to work out whether they need to be using social media in their business: Why? And how?
There is a misconception that everyone should be using social media but the reality is social media won't be relevant for every business. You need to determine what you're aiming to achieve from using social media and how you'll go about achieving it to work out whether it's realistic for you.
It's also incredibly important to know where your customers are and which channel they're using so you're targeting the right one. If you're on YouTube but your current and potential customers aren't then you're wasting time and resources.
For a small business and for creatives managing their own labels or brands (often outside of a normal day job) there are a lot of reasons to use social media and a number of benefits that can be gained.
Twitter is fantastic for building your personal brand and engaging with people. Using Twitter to share what you're doing, making and who you are allows people to see who the person behind the label or brand is.
Your followers or fans can also amplify what you're doing across their own networks. If you have a store on Etsy or your own website add the 'follow' button in a prominent place (such as the banner) to make it easy for people to follow and connect with you.
Twitter can also be used to link to your other social channels such as Facebook.
Things to remember
It doesn't matter what social channel you're using you have to be yourself. It becomes obvious if someone isn't being authentic on social media and that can dramatically effect how credible people will think you are.
Generally, the only cost when it comes to social is related to time. Make the most of the tools that are available to manage your social streams such as Tweetbot for Twitter or Hootsuite to manage multiple accounts. This will cut down the time you're spending on the administration side and increase the time you can spend sharing and benefitting from the tools.
Look at what other people are doing in your profession or speciality. There will quite often already be people doing it well who you can learn from. If you need some tips or help there is a huge amount of information out there and a couple of posts here that can help you too!
Ellison Bloomfield is a Senior Analyst in Social Media at Deloitte. Her blog – Humane Resource has received world-wide attention and Ellison is frequently quoted as a thought leader on HR issues both within Australian and international publications. She can be found on twitter @EllisonAmy
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