In this blog, I will outline the necessary tools need BEFORE you set up your Social Media presence. Many business owners today know they need to have Social Media but are really unaware of how much it takes to really set your business up right. The benefits can be greatly rewarded, as long as 2 principals are adhered to, pre-plan and maintenance.
This article is dedicated to pre-planning.
Step one: Pictures.
It is vitally important that as business owner you have clear, high-quality pictures of your establishment. Luckily, most cellphones (Smartphones) have 3.5 megapixel or greater and can take decent pictures which can easily be e-mailed to yourself. Try to get all shots with activity (parking lot full, customers inside, etc.) and, if you live in a place that is seasonal, winter and summer shots are good too. Don’t forget your signage along with some nightlife if you are open late. Create a master folder that is easy for you or your social media admin to find, I recommend on the desktop labeled “Social Media”. I will assume for the rest of the article you will make sub-folders in the Social Media one. Make a sub-folder and label it Pics. Save all the pictures here and include your logo artwork. Be sure to label each picture with a short description so it is easy to remember. I cant tell you how much time gets wasted on scrolling through pics with a description “5-486-9786-87”. You will need to have these pictures in various sizes so the bigger the better as you can downsize but small pics get grainy when blown up. Paint can resize (down) just fine and is on most PC’s. Try to keep them all in jpeg format, it is the most common. Many sites will tell you if the file is too small or too big, so stick to the rule I just shared with you.
Step 2: Slogan
Your slogan, while it may be something you created and you are happy with, may be too long to see on search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing). You may need to reexamine your slogan and keep it to no more than 140 characters. Try and Google anything, you will find that after 140 characters the words drop off, leaving a … which does not look attractive to potential customers. Also, 160 characters is the Twitter length, and all the social media sites and search engines work pretty much the same. I use 140 as the rule so it will always show on every site, even ones I have no idea existed. I like to include the business name, type of business, and location if possible. This is loading keywords in your slogan and helps people to find you. Characters include spaces, punctuation as well as letters so choose wisely and count. Make sub-folder and label it “Slogans and Descriptions” Save the slogan (Word, Notepad, Etc.) and stash it here.
Step 3: Description
Your description of your business is more for you to decide. This can be longer but try to have the main summary at around 200 characters, then going on further to 400, then go to 1000. the reason is, on some sites you may have to “break down” your description into slogan, short, long or slogan long and the site cuts it for you and says “more…” If you break it down ahead of time, it will help you while submitting your listings and setting up your Social Media sites. Try and “pepper” (I cook, lol) in keywords such as your business name, work you do, location, industry, etc. The more a keyword reflects what you do the better. Put these in PDF or word or notepad, save them in a files so you can easily “copy and paste” them later. Save it in the Slogans and Descriptions folder.
Step 4: Video
If you have video, great! If not, I suggest you find a local videographer to make a short “commercial” or film an event at your place and cut it down to about 5 min. It could be just a passing parade (check to see about rights), a concert, a BBQ, and employees birthday or just your place (WITH CUSTOMERS, no one will come to an empty place). At least one you should have, but easy rule of thumb, one commercial and one event. Create a subfolder and label it Videos.
Last – Research your name
Look up you business name on various sites. Just for starters: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook. You need to be aware if your name already exists so you can pick one that is different from the rest. If someone has your Twitter name already, but everything else is available, try adding the initials of the city at the end. Likewise, if you have a generic name, like mine, New Media Marketing, then look for other alternatives such as, in my case, Social Media Promotion. Be creative! Once you pick your name(s) you want, (hopefully they are all the same, but for many, no) you have the basics down and are ready to set up your Social Media AND local listing sites!