Social media is perhaps the most powerful modern tool for marketing, and at the very least it’s the fastest growing one. Plenty of businesses are on board with beginning social media, but with all the advice on how to run a social media campaign, there’s actually very little advice out there on how to get started. This article aims to explain what you need to have prepared to get set up on social media, in five simple steps.
First, you need to decide what you’re going to be doing with your social media. This is easier said than done, especially since so much of knowing what to do with social media comes from experience. It’s hard to create a social media strategy without first knowing what the platform is capable of.
There are plenty of articles out there that will help you figure out exactly what role social media will play in your business, but a few of the most common objectives are:
Choose a Manager
We’ve seen too many businesses take a leap-before-you-look attitude with social media that has left them with a potentially workable social media solution that sits on the sidelines getting dusty because no-one’s quite sure what to do with it. Apart from deciding the strategy, you also need to decide who will be in charge of implementation and overseeing your social media, otherwise it will always be “someone else’s job”.
Choose someone who has enough confidence and authority to speak on behalf of the company, but who also has enough time to actually devote to the project. It doesn’t need to take more than half an hour a day, but does have to be a defined part of someone’s role. Make sure your social media manager is briefed on the purpose and strategy of the position and understands what is necessary to carrying it out.
Of course, there’s a lot more to social media than simply being social. You need to decide what form of social media you’ll be using, which means choosing a platform. Here are a few of the most common ones and the basic facts and advantages about them:
Facebook: Facebook is easily the largest social media platform, giving you great potential reach. Use Facebook is a great service for content syndication and brand reputation.
Twitter: Twitter is mainly divided by interest group, allowing you to more easily interact with those who are interested and active in your field. Twitter allows easy and informal communication, making it useful for customer service and brand reputation.
Linkedin: Linkedin is primarily used for business, so it’s expected that you will be mostly formal and business oriented in using it. Linkedin is great for lead generation, especially in B2B companies.
Pinterest: Pinterest requires a very visual form of communication. If your business has something to offer visually, it works very well for brand reputation and content syndication.
Google+: Google+ is primarily used by those in technological professions, and is good for brand reputation, content syndication and lead generation in this sphere. Outside of this sphere, Google+ has a much lower success rate, but is still vital for SEO purposes.
From a practical perspective, it’s important that your social media looks good in order to best represent you. This means choosing banners and profile pictures that are visually appealing, and are the right size. For the main social media platforms, those sizes are:
Facebook Banner: 851px x 315px (Various areas covered based on view. See more here: https://www.facebook.com/PagesSizesDimensions)
Facebook Profile Picture: 160px x 160px (Upload as 180px x 180px)
Twitter Banner: 1500px x 500px
Twitter Profile Picture: 400px x 400px
Linkedin Banner: 1600px x 375px (Various areas covered based on view. See more here:
Linkedin Profile Picture: 50px x 50px
Pinterest Profile Picture: 600px x 600px (resized to 165px x 165px)
Google+ Banner: 1080px x 608px
Google+ Profile Picture: 250px x 250px minimum (corners will be cut off when represented as a circle)
Once your social media page is set up, you’ll want to make it official. Each social media site has their own validation process for how you make your page official, and we’ve handily gathered them together here:
Facebook Verification: Currently Facebook doesn’t verify for businesses, but if they start to do so, advice will be found here: https://www.facebook.com/help/100168986860974
Twitter Verification: Twitter verify at their own pace, there is no official way to request it. However, linking to your Twitter from your home page is the best way of getting verification. More information here:
Linkedin Verification: Company pages by default can’t be set up without being verified. More information here:
Google+ Verification: https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778
And once you’re set up, it’s time to get posting. It’s advisable to have a few pieces lined up for launch, so that you can begin building up the momentum required, but as long as you’ve got a good strategy and a good manager, you should be fine.