Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Develop Your Start-Up's Social Media Persona

By Mark Helfen

Social media marketing isn’t just for the big guys. At Monday’s SVForum MarketingSIG (Develop Your Start-Up's Social Media Persona with FB Bus. Pages, Tweets, & Blogs,) you can hear how small businesses from individuals to startups can use social platforms to advance their business.  The idea is to become “inspired,” and to get started now.

The meeting includes a panel of three experts in the key social platforms – Twitter, Facebook, and blogging. Carol Stephens, New Media Consultant at Your Social Media Works focuses on Twitter. Nigel Ohrum is founder of Social Toppings, and will focus on Facebook. Fran Hylinski is founder of Footprint 2.0, will speak on blogging.

I spoke briefly to all three panelists, and some common themes emerged. Your social media strategy needs to engage the audience. It’s not broadcasting - it’s a conversation with two way communication. And you need to get started now. Everyone is an expert on some topic – start now and learn by doing.

Stephens focuses on Twitter. Within the limitations of 140 characters you can show your expertise, engage people (and not just people who already follow you) and extend your network, starting conversations across the twitterverse. She says she has gained new clients through her tweeting.

Ohrum focuses on Facebook. Another way of engaging people, he says that Facebook is a great start for social media beginners. A way of having a conversation, and supplying useful information for people. He talked about the difference between your profile, and the multiple business pages you can manage.

Mobile also needs to be part of your social, and web strategy. According to Ohrum, 53 % of all internet traffic now goes to smart phones.

Fran Hylinski focuses on blogging, and Wordpress as a blogging platform. He believes that blogging is also part of your social media strategy.

For many people, the difficulty of blogging is knowing what to write about. Blogs with a single entry are a frequent internet story. He believes that the things you need to cover include the knowledge and experience you already have – things that are already in your head. Your blog is about you. He lists a foundation, commitment and structure as the requirements for a successful blog. Commitment means to show up and write.

But mostly, “just get started,” said Stephens. You will make a few mistakes, but learn as you go.

“Every single person is an expert on something.”

PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE for Develop Your Start-Up's Social Media Persona with FB Bus. Pages, Tweets, & Blogs by signing up at our Meetup page:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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