But, if you haven’t really gotten your foot in the door, below are five steps to get an audience going.
1. Open an account in social networks you think will work well with your business.
There are lots of networks to choose from. A couple of the biggies are:
Then there are also the smaller niche social groups you might consider. For example, if you’re an author, you might create an account in JacketFlap and Author’s Den, as well as Goodreads and creating an Amazon Author Profile.
2. Once you open the accounts, create a focused profile.
I work Twitter primarily and I see the craziest profile descriptions. Ones that give me no clear idea what the users’ intent or focus are. So, when you’re creating your profile imagine landing on it for the first time. What does that profile immediately say about you and your brand, your platform, your business?
If you’re in real estate, that’s what your profile should state. You should also hashtag your keyword/s, such as #realestate (if applicable on the network).
The same will hold true no matter what your niche or industry is.
People are in a rush. They need to instantly get the gist of what you’re about and what you’re offering.
Below is an example of my Twitter profile:
3. You absolutely, positively need a Profile image.
As surprising as it may seem, I still see social network profiles with generic avatars. This is crazy. If you don’t take the time to make your profile look somewhat professional, which must include a profile header, guess what, visitors will take note. Guaranteed you won’t be taken seriously.
I get that some people just don’t like to be seen, but there are other options:
Hire a professional to take a ‘flattering’ picture of you – one that looks professional
Get a caricature created and use that
Use your business logo
I mentioned above to make it look professional. In my opinion that means to avoid putting an image of your dog, cat, or other pet. It also means to avoid using a shot of you on the beach (unless your platform is ‘having fun in the sun’).
I see marketers who use images of cars, sky diving, swimming, and other non-professional images. Yes, you want to appear personable and interesting, but if you’re online trying to sell what you’re offering, you want to be taken seriously.
It also goes back to the time element that you have to grab that visitor and let him know what you’re about. The profile must be focused – mean and lean.
4. The social network header area is another must do.
Think about this one. You land on a profile that has a focused header and you land on one that has the generic default header, which would appear more professional. Which account would you feel would provide more valuable postings or offer more professional services?
Below is an image of my Twitter header:
And, even if you’re on a tight budget, you can get a great header for $5 over at Fiverr.com. The header above is from Fiverr. So, there’s no excuse not to get a focused header for your social network profiles.
Between my profile description, the hashtags, and the header, my account is highly focused.
5. The final step to getting started is to post quality content.
You need to have information on your account. I get requests for connections in various social networks. One of the first things I check is if that user has any posts. If they do, I look to see if those posts are focused on what they state as their brand/niche.
Why would someone follow you if you have nothing posted.
This seems to happen pretty often with Google+ users. I get put in users’ circles and go to reciprocate, but they have nothing posted. Since they have nothing posted to indicate what they’re about, I don’t follow back.
So, before you expect to get followers and build your audience, post quality content to your networks on a regular basis.
That’s about it for the basics of getting started. Next week I’ll post about building your audience.
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