Social Media Basics – An Overview

As a result of the many conversations about social media I had with franchise professionals at the recent IFA Convention, I posted on this site, Social Media – Before Diving In, Know How to Swim. It seems many within franchising, and most likely throughout small business, continue to put off entering the world of social media. On the surface, the old and by now, tired, excuse of “it’s a fad” appears to be just a smoke screen. The real, true reason is more in line with “I just don’t know how to get started” and/or “If I start, I want to do so correctly.”

Sure, many, including me, have said this before as people expressed fear of social media, “just jump in!” But, I feel it’s necessary to clarify. I do believe one should jump right in, but at least have some fundamentals in place to ensure your experience is both enjoyable and successful. I clarified the same with the franchise professionals I met in Vegas and expanded upon it with Social Media – Before Diving In, Know How to Swim.

As is often the case, one post spurs additional questions and requests, which led to my 4-part series on Social Media Basics. Several years into the social media movement and what appears to be very fundamental, is actually monumental to individuals and organizations still sitting on the sidelines wondering how to get into the game. Hopefully, the 4-part series will help them take that first step on the field.

The series started with Who, What, When, Where, Why & How of Social Media Within a Franchise Organization. Basically, it was an outline of some very basic instruction as it related to each of the 5 “W” questions, and of course, the “How” question.

Next, we needed to introduce the most widely utilized social media, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, along with basic instruction points for each. This segment, Starting Your Social Media Program with the “Big Three” accomplished this objective.

The third segment, An Hour a Day With the Big Three Social Networks continued to build the program as it addressed the time issue of social media. Many newcomers have heard that social media can be a major time commitment. As such, they have been reluctant in starting their social media experience because they don’t have hours per day to commit.

Obviously, it’s important to gauge efforts against results, and to throw in a measure of expectations as well. The last segment of the series focused on social media analytics from a very basic perspective. Social Media Metrics: Not Yet a Science! touched upon the key issues of social media metrics including attention, participation, authority, influence and sentiment. It also touched on some of the obvious goals franchise executives would like to achieve in their social media efforts along with the not-so-obvious benefits that can be achieved as well.

So, there you have it – a 4-part series on Social Media Basics, precluded by an overview of what to do before getting started, that combined, will provide a basic foundation for social media success. Keep in mind, this is the equivalent of driver’s education. But it is the first step to enjoying your life behind the wheel… in social media.

Happy Networking!

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