Introduction to Social Media for Business, Part 2

In part 1, we covered the very basics as it applies to social media. We learned that this relatively new phenomena is comprised of multiple channels of communication as it relates to the Internet, including blogs, forums, photo websites, podcast sites, video-related websites, in addition to social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter.

In part 2, we’ll discuss ways in which to determine if social media is for you and your company. We’ll talk about the four steps to take to get started, and we’ll discuss how to determine the various communication paths that you should take. In this paper, we’re going to assume that you’re just now looking to start a social media outreach program for your company.

There is a great deal to learn about social media if you’re just beginning. Take small steps until you have a clear picture of what social media is about. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at 330-956-9003, or email

Planning Your Social Media Business Program

Let’s start out by saying that social media is all about building relationships. The objective is to lead others to your blog or website where they’ll have an opportunity to review your informative information and see your other offerings. The ultimate goal is to convert that ensuing traffic into dollar bills.

Before we begin, perhaps you’re wondering if social media is absolutely necessary in your case. Does your business have to take this step in its marketing efforts? There are cases where social media may not be necessary. A good example of this is your local car wash. Or perhaps a small, local service station; or the grocery store downtown.

The real determining factor here is your audience. Who exactly are the people you intend to communicate with? Where do they hang out in terms of social media? In the case of the small service station located in a small, rural town, if you’re the only service station of its kind in a 20-mile radius, perhaps having a social media program isn’t necessary at all because you’re likely already getting most if not all the business within your locale. If you have a large business in the middle of New York City, however… well, you get the picture.

Again, who is your audience, where are they located on the Net, and are they likely to follow you to your website or blog?

Another factor is whether you have the time or money to create and run a successful social media program. To successfully run both social media and a website or blog, it can take two hours or more a day. If you cannot spare the time, if you intend to delegate this responsibility to someone on your staff, how will that affect their other duties? Should you hire someone specific for this job, such as a social media and Web director? Can you afford the additional expense? Do you have a clear vision of what you want to convey as well as a clear, defined picture of your brand?

4 Steps to Create a Social Media Program

Now that we’ve established that you can and must continue with the creation of your own social media outreach program, let’s discuss the four steps necessary to make this happen.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Begin by listening to what influencers and thought leaders in your area of expertise are saying. Follow them on social media and gather as much information on how they do what they do as you can. Be sure to interact with them at every level in order to learn the secret to their success, especially where it comes to what they do on social media and on their Website or blog.

Step 2: Set Definable Goals

What is it you expect to derive from a well-run social media outreach program? Write them down and set milestones for yourself so you have a way of measuring your progress. Some of the more common goals include: 1) drive traffic to your existing website or blog, 2) target specific types of traffic, 3) add to your LIKES on social channels like Facebook, and 4) Increase the number of followers you have as on Twitter.

Step 3: Research and Establish Resources

This is where some of the expense comes into play. For instance, 1) be sure to obtain a quality email client, which will likely require a yearly fee of some kind; 2) adopt a number of social media channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter; and 3) add quality plugins to your website or blog that will assist you in your work in social media (some of these, the professional grade, will cost money). Quality, professional plugins will expand the functionality of your website or blog, such as fighting spam or backing up your database on a regular basis.

Step 4: Training

If you intend to delegate your company’s social media work to one or more employees, you will want to create a training program. If you take the time to learn the ropes yourself, perhaps you’ll be the trainer. Otherwise, you may want to outsource the responsibility for employee training to an outside company that specializes in this type of work, such as TpromoCom of Canton, Ohio.

In conclusion, in part 3, we’ll discuss the various kinds of websites and blogs that you have to choose from and how to make a choice. In part 4 we’ll continue talking about your new social media program and how it dovetails with your up and coming new website or blog. If you have any questions concerning this article or the first one, send us an email at, or give me a call at 330-956-9003.

Introduction to Social Media for Business, Part 1
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