How to Leverage Social Media
Submitted by Hope & Grace Pens on December 3, 2012
The following post is the first in a series written by Bryce Piper of Hope and Grace Pens
Executing the techniques listed in the July 2012 blog "Post and Pray vs. Post and Promote" proves to be one the most important and most difficult aspects of operating an online business for a beginner. The idea of promotion sounds great, but how does one use social media or start a blog?
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, LinkedIn and the like are invaluable in helping spread your message. If you're being dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age, it's time for you to get up and begin sprinting. The hardest part is getting started.
The first step: create an account. Choose one or several social media outlets, create your account and populate it. These are all fairly user-friendly, uncomplicated and almost always free. Include pictures of your products with detailed descriptions (links to your online store are sometimes not permitted). Lay out your policies (shipping, returns, etc.) and create other pages like testimonials if you can. Populating your content is important before your next step because your readership needs a reason to visit your page.
Step two: shameless self-promotion. Now that you have a social media page, "find" all your online friends and acquaintances. Many social media sites will look for your acquaintances in your e-mail digital address book, saving you a LOT of time hunting for each one. "Like" your friends and family and invite them to "follow" your new page. You must be shameless about this. You must ask them to promote your social media and online store(s). Remember, they're your friends and associates. They want to help you.
Step three: create your first update. Make your first blog/social media post. Maybe you have a new product to feature? Maybe you have an upcoming sale to tell everyone about? Get the word out there. Remember that social media is social and encourage people to interact with you.
Step three: set up a cycle. Some of us have to actually write down all our social media sites to remember to shamelessly self-promote on a regular basis. Determine a frequency that's right for you (every day may be too much, but regularity is key) and stick to it. Don't have a new product to promote every few days? No problem. Post an older work that hasn't sold yet. There shouldn't be a need to spam your e-mail contacts. Interested parties will have "followed" you and get updates when you post. That being said, it wouldn't hurt to invite new acquaintances to your social media pages in a mass-message once or twice a year.