So, you’ve heard about the numerous benefits of having an effective social media presence in today’s world. Now you’re suffering from information overload. You’ve read too many over-analyzed posts such as “Why your business should have a social media presence” but yet to figure out how to get started. Here are 5 quick ways to get started:

  1. Blog/Website: This is taking the top spot due to its importance. A blog/website is more like your electronic office. It’s your first point of call to potential customers. What does it cost to set one up? Absolutely nothing! These are days where there are free services to get your business online such as Google’s GNBO (Get Nigerian Businesses Online). As for your blog, you can get started with Blogger, WordPress, or Posterous which are all free at the basic level. You can then upgrade later on to a more advance platform or simply hire  a web designer. Ensure you have a professional layout for whichever service you choose to use. Let your site visitors be clear about what you do/sell/make exactly. No beating around the bush. It is also important you state clearly how and where your products can be bought. Contact information is also an important element of a good website.
  2. Social Channels: Now that you have a website/blog, you’ll want to consider getting a presence on at least the most popular Social platforms (depending on your type of business) such as Facebook and Twitter. They are FREE at least. Once this is done, the first thing is to link your website with your social profiles. Make it easy for your customers to locate you on the Social Media sites you just joined by simply putting up a “Like our Page” button or a “Follow us” button. Ensure these buttons are placed in strategic places on your website. By strategic, I mean places where they can be easily seen. On this platforms, you’ll need to communicate value as often as you can. You must be ready to answer the question “After the Like, what next?”. Yes, as your potential customer, what happens after I like your Facebook page?
  3. Social Media Exclusive Deals: It’s a wise business decision to create special deals for your social media audience. Roll out a deal that is strictly available for ONLY you twitter followers or your Facebook friends. This will also help you gain the attention of potential customers and increase your audience over time.
  4. Pictures: This is essential if you business is dependent on images – almost all small businesses are. Take for instance, if you run a baking business, you may want to upload your works on Facebook frequently. The truth is that people respond more to pictures than mere words. In this example, a real snapshot of one of the cakes you’ve baked is the only proof that you’re good at it. The point here is that you share pictures related to your business often – especially real pictures (e.g. your portfolio).

Engage: One of the major mistakes made by many business today is that they sometimes treat social media like traditional media. Social media is not a one-way communication model. It’s a two-way thing if you allow it be. While it’s good to broadcast often, businesses must also be willing to LISTEN to what they customers has to say. Hold conversations with your audience.