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Getting Started with Social Media

How can social media help you? Social media helps you build an online community, or as Seth Godin would put it, a tribe. Social media channels give you the opportunity to ask for opinions, converse, invite, share, and contribute. It also helps create avenues for avid customers to help spread the word about your awesome products and services. It can be overwhelming though, so where do you begin?

1. Which Social Sites Should You Go To?

You’ve probably heard of some of the more popular social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, but there are many more for you to choose from. This Social Media Marketing Guide from SEOmoz lists 101 sites with marketing tips for each. You might find some of them are more relevant to your niche and be a better use of your time. As an example, DevianArt is for artists, photographers, and videographers.

2. User Name Availability

You can personally go to each social site you’re interested in to create a username and profile. Before you do that though, you can quickly and easily check if your company, personal name, or desired user name is available for social sites (as well as domains, etc). It’s a good idea to check username availability before you decide on one because it’s better to use the same name across channels (and far less confusing!). Here are 7 Services to Find and Reserve Your Name Across the Web. Some of these services, for a fee of course, will do some of the legwork for you by creating accounts with the information you provide for profiles.

3. Start the conversation2

Once you’ve determined the proper social sites for you and created accounts, you need to join and start conversations. Here are five online conversation tips: listen to what’s being said, be open minded, keep it real, show some gratitude, and stay positive. Find out where your customers “hang out” online by asking them, and then join in on their conversations in an authentic way – not in a self-serving way.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. So first, take an active part in conversations. Second, contribute valuable and useful information. And then, promote your company by asking people to visit, comment and share through the social sites that are part of your active online tribe.

Resources

Here are 5 Tips for Starting a Social Media Conversation

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