Ten Tips For A Social Media Newbie

While most of us in this field have some type of marketing and business background, it is rare to find anyone who has actually studied “Social Media” in school in the conventional sense of the word. Most of us have learned or are learning how to navigate this crazy, ever-changing, moving at the speed of light world of social media on a “trial by fire” basis.  As a relative newcomer to the world of social media, I wish that I had had someone to give me these 10 tips as a social media newbie:

  1. Be Yourself: Social media is just that. Social.  People want to see who you are and what you stand for.  Join the conversation, show some of your personality. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. Be Humble: Those just starting our in social media often try to establish themselves as experts within their field. Like in real life, no one likes a know-it-all.  It is crucial that you learn how to engage your followers or fans without alienating them.
  3. Find Your Niche: Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are not the only social networking platforms out there. When creating your social media strategy, it is more important to find out where your clients and customers are than it is to have a presence on Facebook or Twitter that may not get you the conversion rates you seek.  
  4. Follow Interesting People: Everyone needs a mentor, someone who is experienced in their field and who is willing to share their knowledge.  Asking questions is a great way to gain knowledge.  And remembering to pay it forward is also key.
  5. Don’t annoy your followers: A good social media goal is to be helpful first. Trying to shamelessly promote your brand or business is a sure way to annoy and alienate your followers.  Remember, engagement comes first, then sales will follow.
  6. Numbers aren’t everything: Social Media isn’t about the number of followers you have or how many fans. It’s about creating a conversation with your audience that will hopefully lead to the creation of loyal, repeat customers for your business. Don’t be discouraged by your number of followers or about one rude person you encounter in cyberspace.  Focus on creating good content, establishing real relationships and being helpful.
  7. Share The Love: Great content is meant to be shared. Posting, re-tweeting and +1 are all way to say to your followers that you value what they are doing.  And you’ll  likely find that the more you do for others, the more they’ll do for you.
  8. Give Credit Where Credit is Due: When you borrow someone else’s stuff, give them credit. Plagiarism is still plagiarism, even in the cyber-world.
  9. Follow Back: No explanation necessary.  It’s just the nice thing to do!
  10. Know when to turn it off: When all is said and done in this 24/7 world of social media, sometimes you have to know just when to turn it off and take a nap.  After all, it will still be there when you wake up.

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