Getting Started with Social Media

Some of you are already using social media, while others of you are wondering where to even begin. Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? All of the above? To get your feet wet without feeling like you’re drowning in a sea of social media confusion, I’d recommend that you start with Facebook because it’s free, easy to use, and growing in popularity.

Over 500 million people have a Facebook account, so you should have no trouble finding customers that want to interact with you on your Facebook page.

Facebook allows you to talk about what you’re doing, answer customer questions, post photos and videos of your work, post links to your website, and more. What you put into it determines what you get out of it, so be sure to put some thought into your Facebook page as opposed to approaching it haphazardly.

For those of you that are a wee bit skittish when it comes to the internet, I’ve created a series of step-by-step screenshots to help you set up your Facebook account. One thing to keep in mind is that Facebook offers a few different types of pages:

  • Profile Page – Typically, this is the first page you will create on Facebook. It’s your personal page, so you should use your actual name (for example, John Smith or Sally White) for this page. This is the page you’ll use to connect with your family and friends … remember … this page is personal.
  • Fan Page – If you have a business, and most of you do if you’re reading this blog, you’ll create a fan page using your company name (for example, our fan page is Aquascape, Inc). This is the place on Facebook where you’ll interact with your customers. You can certainly interact with customers on your Profile Page too, but typically you’ll want to save that for the business Fan Page.
  • Other page types include Groups and Communities, but we’ll save these for another discussion.

A business Fan Page is tied to an individual account, or Profile Page. So when you log into your account (John Smith or Sally White), you’ll be able to post information on your Fan Page under your company name … there is no need to log in separately to access your business Fan Page.

When you create your business Fan Page, you’ll want to be sure to include information about your company, such as address, phone number, web address, business email address, hours of operation, services offered, etc. You can do all this when you edit your profile at the very beginning stage of setting up the Fan Page. Don’t worry if you forget something … you can always go back and add new information.

So if you aren’t on Facebook yet and want to get started, log onto www.facebook.com. And remember, if you need help, be sure to check out the step-by-step instructions I’ve created, or simply post a question to this blog entry (in the comments section below).

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