Over the next several weeks we are going to provide you with a step-by-step guide to getting started in social media. So today, step 1, the VERY beginning…getting started.
With Social Media, the first question is always ”Where on earth do we start?!”
The simple answer, start listening.
Listen and learn. Social media has a different structure than any other marketing medium, people participate differently, and it truly takes a little time to understand everything that’s going on around you. Finding your place in the social media world and figuring our exactly how you can add to the community and conversation is vital to the start of your social media program.
A common mistake made in social media is assuming that social media exists solely for promotion, for selling and for getting your message out. While selling can be a part of social media, it’s not the main focus. With social media, you need to focus on finding/building community and genuine conversation before you even think about integrating a sales message.
What should you listen for?
The key things to listen for and monitor are any conversations about your dealership(s), the manufacturers you carry, the RV industry, the specific RV products you carry, and any discussion on competing brands or competing dealerships in your area. Figure out what people are saying, what their tone is, what information is missing/fabulous/weak/incorrect, who is talking, and who is responding.
How do you listen to all of that?
1. Google Reader (or another RSS)
Google reader (an RSS reader) makes listening and learning extremely easy. You can subscribe to websites, blogs or other sites you’re interested in reading about as well as subscribe to Google Alerts and Social Mention. RSS readers, and especially Google Reader, make it incredibly easy to stay up to date and on top of what is happening in the social media universe.
2. Google Alerts
You can set your Google alerts to search for certain keywords (i.e. your dealership name, the name of the manufacturers you carry, your community, or set it to look up your competitors) and Google Alerts will scour websites, blogs, other social media sites as well as videos and deliver it all to your inbox or RSS reader!
3. Twitter Search
Twitter is a fast paced, constantly moving platform – and a great place to find just about any information you’re looking for. Go to Twitter Search and type in the terms you’d like to search for. It will pull up any tweets, mentions or conversations containing those terms. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to Twitter while figuring out how you’re going to fit in. Click on “advanced search” and you can narrow by geographic location, words that should be excluded, similar phrases, etc.
4. Nearby Tweets
On top of being fast paced, Twitter is also big. There are million of users around the world, which can often make the program a little daunting to you. Nearby Tweets is a website that allows you to pick your location and the topic you’d like to search for. You’ll get tweets and information from your community on the topics you want.
5. Industry Blogs
Learning from your industry and staying on top of industry news can be just as important as tracking what’s happening at your dealership. Using Google Reader is one of the easiest ways to track and learn from what’s going on from top industry reporters. Our favorite sites to subscribe to are: