The Simple Social Media Challenge

Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

You say you dislike social media, but have you taken it for a spin? Many shy away from social media because they feel left in the dark. Granted, in the beginning the learning curve can feel like falling into an abyss. Give this powerful marketing tool a chance. Send your inner naysayer on vacation and stick your toes in the social media water.

Social media will almost certainly continue its swift wave of growth. The top social media platforms for businesses in 2012 include Facebook, Twitter and blogging — in that order. Of course there are many valuable social platforms, but for our purposes here, we are choosing the three listed above. If you think social media isn’t for you, we challenge you to test it for six weeks. Prove yourself wrong — or right.

Your Weekly Social Media Schedule

Facebook (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, write a Facebook status related to your business. Post the status.
  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, “like” a Facebook page related to your business.
  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, reply to a comment someone has made to your status or post a comment on another’s Facebook page. Make your comment engaging and informative.

Note: If you are using Facebook for business, use your Facebook business page, not your Facebook personal account. If you need to set up a Facebook business page, roll up your sleeves and create a simple business page. It is easier than you think!

Twitter (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, write a tweet related to your business. Publish the tweet.
  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, follow one new Twitter account related to your business.
  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, reply (or “@” in Twitter lingo) to one account you follow with an interesting comment.
  • Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, retweet (or “RT”) a tweet from one account you follow. Use Twitter’s retweet button whenever possible.

Note: You will need a Twitter account and a Twitter “handle” — @YourNameHere. Choose your handle thoughtfully. The easier your handle is to remember, the easier it is for followers to find you.

Blogging (Monday)

  • Write one 250- to 300-word blog post (engaging, informative story) prior to Monday. Post each blog so that it is live each Monday at 8:30 a.m.
  • Leave a comment on another site’s blog that is related to your business. Make sure the comment is related to the blog or thread. Shy away from comments that might be interpreted as a sales pitch.
  • When appropriate, add your email address or URL to the comment as part of your signature.

Social Media Tips

  • Consistency is key in successful social media marketing.
  • Take care in your tweets, statuses and comments to stay away from a pushy or hard sell. Having said that, by all means put information about your products on Twitter and Facebook. This is how followers find you. Most definitely post statuses and tweet about special offers!
  • Each time you post your blog, take time to tweet a link to the blog and add it to your Facebook page.
  • Check as often as possible to see who has commented on your blog, replied to a tweet or posted a comment on your Facebook page. Respond to them.

Social Relationship Building

One of the most important things to remember when using social media is that social media relationships are often built on reciprocation: “You follow me and I’ll follow you.” This is especially true with Twitter. “Followbacks” are important, but build your relationships based on how they benefit you. Oftentimes a follower wants to keep up with you, but they themselves may not send out social messages. Followbacks are not always necessary.

After your six week challenge, you will be socially savvy and better able to determine if social media is right for you. At the very least, you will have a better understanding of the social landscape and the time involved in developing and maintaining your social side. Consider our challenge to you a win-win.

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