Social media used for business is different than social media used for our personal lives. While it’s great fun to chat with friends, share photos, and discover new things, that’s not how our potential customers will necessarily interact with us. Instead, they’ll use social media as a kind of search engine – so we must ensure our products and services are there.
Before we begin, set some ground rules with your parents/guardians. What is and is not permitted in your home for social media usage? As a parent, I’m very strict about what information my child is permitted to share (nothing true) in order to protect them from less than nice people online. You can still be truthful about your products and services without disclosing your identity, location, age, and other personal information. For example, my child’s online store is in my name and identity. The customer still deals with a real person, just not a minor.
The Network: Pinterest
As we mentioned in part 4, our social network of choice for helping share what we’re making is Pinterest. Set up your profile with an appropriate biography and details about what you have to share.
If we use the example of the white chocolate candy horses, we might have a profile that mentions our love of candy-making and horses. Add a link to your store website.
Photos, Photos, Photos
Before we post anything, we need things to post. This is a great time to take photos of our products – lots of photos! Be as creative as you can; take some clean product shots on a white or neutral background. Place your product in a variety of backdrops and settings. Think of ways people will use your product and shoot photos with that in mind.
You don’t need a fancy, expensive camera; any smartphone camera and good lighting will do to start. Take lots of pictures; with the digital camera built into your smartphone, you can simply delete the ones that don’t look as good.
Your First Pin
To see how it works, choose a product photo, then click the plus button on your Pinterest profile page. Choose upload from your computer, then your photo.
Once uploaded, Pinterest will ask you to create a board for your photo. Name it something appropriate; refer back to the list of words we discussed in part 2 on the unique selling proposition.
Congratulations! You’ve now posted your first pin. Of course, we’ve tackled the media part. We still haven’t tackled the social part.
Interact with Others
Social media works best when we follow a rule called Giver’s Gain. We help others in some small way, and a portion of those people will return the favor in time. We can take four actions to show our support for others, for people who might like what we have to sell: follow, like, comment, and share.
Start by searching for people interested in what we’re doing. I did a search for white chocolate:
From here, what actions could we take?
See someone sharing things that we’d enjoy as customers? Follow those people! Follow 5-10 new people each day.
See a pin that really inspires you? Like it by clicking on the heart button:
Tell someone what you liked about their pin. Leave them a brief, polite comment. Don’t sell your stuff or promote yourself, just honestly share what caught your eye and thank them for sharing it.
Like a pin enough that you’d share it with your friends? Hit the Pin It button to re-share that pin to your boards. Create a series of boards for other people’s stuff and pin new things to them.
Establish a Daily Routine
The goal with these social activities is to draw attention to your profile, and then your website. To do this, we give first – and we must give often. Set up a daily routine to follow, like, comment, and share every day. I recommend starting with fives – 5 people to follow, 5 likes, 5 comments, 5 shares. Do that every day- it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
Over time, we’ll build our community, our relationships, and will find natural, normal opportunities to mention what we do that would be appropriate for any conversation.
In the next post in this series, we’ll tackle what to put in your email newsletter.
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