I’m interviewing Alizah Epstein from Epsteincreative.com in Rockville, Maryland. Alizah and her team of marketers, graphic designers, and web developers work with their clients to communicate their messages, capabilities, and brands—online, on paper, or in person.
I asked Alizah about what someone needs to know when they are thinking about using social media to build their business.
Question: Where do I begin if I want to use social media to promote my business?
Answer: Before you jump in and select a social media platform to use (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.), identify your target audience and their needs (you’ve probably done this). The key question is, what problem can I solve. Based on understanding their needs, think about what message you want to send them. Once you are clear about who your audience is and what message you want to communicate, go online and look at social media tutorials. There are plenty of tutorials and resources written about how to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. For example, look at socialmediaexaminer.com or find podcasts on how to use social media. There are LinkedIn groups that can help.
Select one social media platform that you think will be the best way to reach your target audience.
Question: How much time should I spend on social media?
Answer: Ask yourself:
- Is this the best use of my time?
- Do I want to spend time learning about, for example, the details of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
- Will spending time learning about social media time take me away from doing sales?
However, if you really like delving into the mechanics of social media, then, by all means, do it. The bottom-line question is how am I going to maximize my time on social media. If you’re limited for time:
- Focus only on one social media platform
- After you are comfortable using one, then add another one.
- Don’t dilute your message, if you’re short on time
Question: What about using a freelancer to help me?
Answer: There are freelancers who specialize in creating and maintaining social media campaigns. They don’t need to get up to speed on the latest ways to use social media. You’ll not only be paying for their expertise, but you’ll be freed up to use your time in other ways.
There are virtual assistants; people you can hire who have expertise and can provide professional, administrative, technical, or creative (social media) assistance remotely from their home office. They charge by the hour or by project. You can find more information about virtual assistances online and at Craig’s List, Indeed.com or Elance.com.
Question: What are some other things I need to know about using social media?
Answer: Here are some things I suggest to my clients.
- Create a social media editorial calendar for at least six months listing topics by week or month
- A good place to start is by sending content every other week. No one wants to be spammed with lots of social media information.
- Keep the number of words to 200-400
The idea of using social media can be overwhelming, take it slowly, and consider what you can do and what you can’t.