Like Us. Follow Us. Join Our Network. Follow Our Blog.
Last winter, we realized the organization was missing a valuable opportunity to connect with members, clients and community partners through social media. Our staff developed a strategy and jumped right in by launching our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages in April, and then launching our blog, Around & About, in September.
Making a commitment to social media was not as easy for us as you may think. Committing the time without the ability to have a dedicated staffer to manage it was a challenge.
Our solution was to create a Social Media Committee to share the workload. The five-person committee, which receives support and feedback from the entire NLOWE staff, is responsible for the strategy, creation, and implementation of social media content, and this approach has proved to be the foundation of our success so far.
The committee developed a strategy around some key phrases: sharing, connecting, networking, engaging, and authenticity. We viewed social media as another outlet to spread the word about the variety of services and events we offer.
Being online not only gives us an opportunity to connect with our clients and members on a more personal level, but also allows us to network with our regional partner organizations to share resources that benefit women entrepreneurs.
We realized our main priority online is to engage in discussions and conversations with our followers. Conversations in real time is one of the main benefits of social media. To take advantage of that , we aim to post content and to ask questions that encourage and facilitate feedback.
We’ve learned the best way to elicit feedback from our followers is by being authentic and using a human voice with our posts. People trust people more than they trust organizations, and we want our followers to feel comfortable in exchanging dialogue with us.
There truly is something for everyone on our social media channels. Coming up with monthly or seasonal features keeps our social media strategy focused, and allows us to focus our creativity around certain themes.
We are particularly proud of our blog, Around & About, which has been highly successful. In the first six months, we received more than 5000 views on our posts. Each Wednesday, our followers can check our blog and read a new and informative post from a guest author, whether it is an NLOWE member, a partner, a conference speaker, or an NLOWE staff member.
We have even gone beyond traditional blogging and entered the world of video blogging, or vlogging. Vlogging has been especially exciting for us, and we are looking forward to doing more in the future.
Enthusiasm for our social media efforts continues to build not only with our staff, but also with our fans and followers. We hope that our enthusiasm is contagious, and that you choose to like us, follow us, and connect with us on all of our social media channels!
Five Tips to Becoming a Social (MEDIA) Butterfly
Start with strategy. It’s hard to be successful in business if you don’t first develop a strategy.
Find your target audience. Where are they spending their time online? That’s where you will want to be.
Start slow. Choose one channel (the one where your audience is spending their time), take your time getting comfortable and finding your voice.
Adapt. Some things will work, some things won’t. Evaluate, and then adapt your approach based on user response.
Plan. Plan. Plan. It seems like there is never enough time, but planning lets you use the little you have productively.
Get a calendar and plan the year (yes, we said year). Highlight your important dates, holidays, promos, and other key events. This will allow you to plan ahead.
Research and prepare materials in advance. This way, you won’t be left scrambling.
Schedule time for social media as you would for finances. Use tools like Hootsuite for planning ahead.
Be authentic. This will make your brand more reliable, credible, dependable, and genuine.
Be passionate. If others can see and feel your passion, they will become passionate about your brand, too.
Be yourself. Show your personality and have some fun. People like to know from whom they are buying. Humanize your brand.
Engage. Social media is about socializing online. It’s about creating a connection.
Don’t sell. Talk with, not at, strangers. Those strangers are potential followers and more importantly, potential customers.
Ask questions. Post content that encourages a response, feedback, or discussion.
Listen and respond. This is most important. Responding to your followers’ comments and posts lets them know you are listening and appreciate what they have to say.
Join the conversation.
Social media is here to stay. It’s not going anywhere!
Just do it. Jump in and take advantage of this free marketing tool that’s at your fingertips.
Commit. Just having a Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog is not enough. You have to be present, post regularly, and post often.
Be consistent. Otherwise people will forget about you.
Be patient. It takes time to build a following on any channel. Be patient, and they will come.
“People buy from people they trust and they trust people they like.”
– Garrison Wynn
Are you willing to join the conversation?
When it comes to social media, are you confused about where to start, how to make it work for your business, and most importantly, how to get a return on your investment?
As a small business owner, you are not alone if you feel overwhelmed, or if you are afraid of social media. That’s why many business owners flirt with, rather than commit to, social media as a valuable marketing tool.
The reality is, time is at a premium for small business owners. It’s hard to devote part of your busy day to an unfamiliar marketing tool, especially if you don’t understand it, can’t see where you fit, or don’t believe that it will even work.
Here’s another reality: you can learn how to use social media effectively. You can plan ahead, minimize your time spent, and still make it work for your business.
Social media is not as daunting as you may think. You learn best by doing. When you practice, you get comfortable, and if something happens, you troubleshoot.
It’s time for you to look at social media in two ways: it’s a conversation, and it’s a choice.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
– Seth Godin
Right now, there’s an exciting conversation happening. Your competitors and customers are a part of it; heck, your future competitors and future customers are a part of it. Don’t you want to be a part of it? Can you afford not to be a part of it?
That’s where the choice comes in. As a business owner, you make tough choices every day because you know it will make your business better and more successful.
Choosing to make social media a priority may be challenging, but it will make your business better. Choose to learn and do. Choose to join the conversation.