Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from previous contributor Katrina Padron. She is the creator of Smart-Simple-Social, a weekly newsletter that teaches business owners strategies for creating a community of fans who love what you do and happily share your products and services with their friends. Katrina is also co-creator of The Create + Connect Project, a program that helps creative entrepreneurs turn their passion into profit. In the past, Katrina has shared tips on how to create a fan-base from scratch, and today she focuses on creating a team of social media experts for your business. Thanks, Katrina, for such a helpful post! — Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump . . .
Social media can seem overwhelming. Let’s face it — if you are running a business, you are really busy running the business, right? Have you ever thought, “I just want someone else to do it for me”? You’re in luck. Just like other projects in your business, you can train your staff to use social media to create relationships with your customers and get your business out there.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting your team ready for the social media front lines:
Start with a recruiting session. Depending on the size of your team, you might be able to hand-select this team, or you could ask for input from your managers. Be strategic. Look for passionate, tech-savvy people who are skilled communicators.
Tell people what you are doing and why. Try a script like this:
Our vision for 2012 is to reach out to more fans, build partnerships and attract more people to our brand. We are getting on Facebook and are looking for passionate, tech-savvy team members who want to join us.
Plan a training session. Once you have a handful of people committed to your social media team, schedule a training session. These meetings are most effective when everyone can see the same screen. If your team is local, your training session could be done in a training room with your computer screen projected. If that is not an option, use an online webinar service provider with screen-sharing options. The best free resource for screen sharing is Skype or anymeeting.com.
Create your presentation. Cover each of these topics:
1. Identify your purpose. The most effective way to use social media is to build relationships with your customers. Your purpose might be creating a community of fans who love what you do and happily spread the good word.
2. Set frequency expectations. Plan to have a few posts each day. Depending on the size of your team, this might mean that one person posts once per day or maybe just a couple times a week.
3. Set content expectations. The biggest social media question is, “I’m on Facebook and Twitter — what do I say?” You really have to know your target customer, but use “e-cubed.” E-cubed is educate, empower and entertain. Consider your ideal target fan and brainstorm posts that she would find educational, empowering and entertaining.
- You are a commercial interior designer. Your target is a decision maker at a development company. They might find “how ‘green’ design innovations are impacting the bottom line” educational and empowering. Post that.
- You have an antique furniture shop. Your target is an interior designer. It might be entertaining and educational to know the history of the piece, or it might be empowering to know how to restore the piece. Post that.
4. Determine your relationship-building to self-promotion ratio. A common issue to address beforehand is how many relationship-building posts you want and how much self-promotion you would like to see. I recommend the 80/20 rule: 80% relationship building and 20% self-promotion. That ratio will help you achieve your goal of creating fan communities who love what you do and happily spread the good word.
5. Give admin access. Giving your team members admin access will allow them to create posts as your business rather than their personal profiles. Your fans will only see your business profile picture instead of the individual person’s picture. If you would like to know whom the post came from and to encourage ownership, ask your team to type their names after each post. To set up admin access, you will need team members’ personal email addresses that they use to log in to Facebook, and they will need to “Like” your business’ Facebook page. Watch this tutorial to learn exactly how to set up admin access.
Develop your Social Media Guidelines. Require every team member to read, sign and adhere to your established social media guidelines. You are allowing your team members to communicate with fans on your behalf and want to make sure they uphold the brand standards, represent your business in a favorable light and maintain ongoing contact with you regarding concerns or progress. Feel free to use this sample.
You are busy running your business. Put these steps in action to guide your team through your social media goals: reach out to more fans, build partnerships and attract more people to your brand.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear about your biggest social media challenges. I’ll be there to help address them.