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As a small business, you should concern yourself more with your social media presence and exposure than the big names out there. Why? They already have the exposure they need. Big brands already have a decent customer base, and although, yes, they also worry about bringing in new customers, their success is not completely hinged on it.
The same cannot be said for your business, however.
Promoting yourself and your brand on social media is no small feat. First, you need to choose and specialize in one or two networks. Then, you need to learn enough about your audience to share content that resonates. Finally, you need to continue posting content on a consistent basis, which requires being creative day in and day out.
Of course, outlying responsibilities like providing a small measure of customer service and interactions, marketing and running ad campaigns, reaching out to other brands, and sometimes even blogging or producing unique content are part of the equation.
Choosing a core focus or particular set of features and options can be tough. To help out, we’re going to highlight a handful of things your business needs on one of your social media pages.
In other words, if one of these is missing, you should implement it as soon as possible. Let’s get started.
Your profile details and brand description are important, but you likely filled that information out first. The next step is to start posting content and updates for your followers. On top of all your other responsibilities, it can be easy to forget to post to social. However, you need to schedule posts and content on a regular basis.
You can experiment and use analytics platforms to find the best time to post, best things to post about, and even how often. That said, you should keep your content flowing at all times. Don’t be afraid to stick with one type of content like text or blog posts, either. Visual content is just as useful, and if you have the time to create videos, then do it!
Because it doesn’t matter whether you’re using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or even something like Snapchat, no one will pay attention if you’re not using it. After all, what would you think if you visited a company’s profile or page and found they hadn’t posted or responded to anything in over a year?
Use a URL shortener to track engagements and clicks on a page or piece of content you share. Check views, shares, likes right on the social network you’re using. Monitor traffic coming from social networks to see how it affects your audience and exposure. Find tools and analytics platforms that help you maximize your social investment.
All of these scenarios and activities have one thing in common, and that’s tracking what you — or your audience — do. Find tools that allow you to track stats and engagement.
While this may seem like a generic tip, it’s really not. You can’t know a social post or type of content is resonating with your audience without taking into account the views, clicks, and engagement ratings.
If you post something - like a photo - and no one clicks or views it, you know it was a mistake. More importantly, you know not to repeat that mistake, so you can keep moving forward.
What tools can you use? Take your pick! There is Hootsuite, Buffer, Keyhole, Buzzsumo, Google Alerts, Klout, and many, many more. The main point is using something.
If you treat social networks as stand-alone, you’re limiting your success and increasing the amount of work and time you need to invest.
Coordinate your efforts across the board.
If your main goal is to push customers and traffic to your website, everything you do should center around this mission.
If you’re providing customer service, give a customer what they need and then direct them to resources on your website for more details. If you’re sharing content, direct them to a blog post or image gallery. If you’re talking about a product, share the product page.
Notice how ultimately, all of these actions lead back to a brand’s website? That’s what you want to do, collectively, with all of your social accounts. Choose a single, critical focus and then coordinate your efforts.
This ensures valued effort and not having to work as hard to meet goals.
There’s a lot to social media regarding mechanics, but it all boils down to a never-ending conversation. Users and companies are sharing, engaging and talking to one another. It’s a thriving, active community and that’s what makes social networking, well, social.
Become a part of as many conversations as humanly possible! Respond to customer or audience comments, even if they’re negative. Share reviews, and opinions, and weigh in on topics that matter to you.
Reach out and interact with other user and brand profiles. Don’t be afraid to use your social account to be social. The more people see of you and your brand, the more likely they are to follow it back to your website or even your store.
Technically, this could tie into the point above about being consistent. It’s important enough, however, to mention it on its own.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, whether providing customer service or support or sharing another brand’s content, you must always remain timely and present. If a customer reaches out to you, comments, or engages your brand, you want to respond relatively fast.
It’s unrealistic to think you’ll be spending all of your time, perusing and interacting on social media. You have a business to run, after all!
But if a customer reaches out for help, and you take days to respond or get back to them you’re going to lose more than just that person. Interaction is visible publicly, so more than one person will notice you’re not present. That’s not a good thing, especially if you’re trying to build trust with your customers and audience.
Everything you do on a social network is watched. If you say something offensive, everyone will know about it. If you post a typo or screw up in some small way, everyone will know about it. If you make a huge blunder — like sharing the wrong photo — everyone will know about it.
You don’t have a choice but to take responsibility for your actions either, it’s your brand and profile. Proofread your messages and comments before posting an update or sharing content.
No, you’re most likely not this vigilant with your personal profiles, but that’s because they aren’t affecting the reputation of your company or brand.
The last pointer — and arguably most critical — is to have fun. Enjoy what you are doing and show it in everything you do. When you comment and respond to customers, be jovial and witty. When you post content, make sure everyone knows you enjoyed reading or watching it. Be playful when you reach out to other brands, pages, and groups.
Even though this is all digital and on the internet, this is a social setting. If you’re enjoying yourself and having fun, more people will want to interact with you and your brand. In the end, that’s what will drive potential customers right into your stores.