Here are some social media tips for starting out, because let’s face it, most young entrepreneurs think they got the social media marketing “down pat,” but in all seriousness, they aren’t even close.

1. Start small You’ll want to start small and try 1 or 2 platforms. Often times folks sign up for every social network under the sun and try to grow each of them. Guess how long they last? Building profiles for multiple social sites is hard work, so it’s best to start by only tackling two at first. Once you find the right ones for you or your brand, then start to narrow your focus on those. Eventually you may want to scale your social media strategy to include more services, but you have to crawl before you can walk. Start small, and then grow to other social networks as your confidence grows. Success breeds success.


2. Don’t fret about follower counts! Don’t believe all the folks out there that sell you the notion that you can attract thousands of followers in a matter of days. Sure, you could do that and it’s not hard. But the types of followers who are going to be following you are mostly bots. Or they’re just following you in hopes that you’ll follow them back. Ultimately, they aren’t followers who would engage with you. You want social media followers that are going to listen and interact with you, and 10 of those followers is worth more than a thousand bots. It takes a while to organically build up a great social profile. Focus on building great content and being helpful, and the followers will come. Don’t buy followers. (If you want to read up about content marketing, you can click here)

3. Don’t annoy your followers! Sounds like common sense, right? Unfortunately, lots of companies that are just starting out with social media think the best way to “promote” their brand is to publish coupons, offers, news, and anything else related to their business. Rule of thumb: if it’s something you personally wouldn’t like to receive, avoid it. Your social media goal is to be helpful first. People follow and respect brands that are helpful, not self-promoting shills. Give first, then ask. Try posting useful links to industry articles, answer questions, and engage. The followers, engagement, and ultimately sales will come if you’re helpful first.  Great brands didn’t get that way by failing to deliver on an authentic brand promise.  It’s all about being authentic, not fake.

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