How to Easily Add Social Media into Your Marketing and Branding: S.T.E.P. Your Way to Success

Business Tips from Suzanne Blake Gerety

Adding social media into your comprehensive marketing plan can appear to be time consuming or even confusing!  When you’re just getting started it’s important to know the fundamentals of social media and how you can properly use them to Share, Teach, Engage and Promote to S.T.E.P. your way to success.

Social media gives you instant access to brand your business, connect to your community and communicate with your current and potential students.  You can easily share exciting news, helpful information, and relevant events that both inspire and inform on social media.

#1. SHARE
Social media is about making connections.  Share, comment, like, and/or re-tweet information that you believe your friends, fans or followers could benefit from such as blog posts, quotes and helpful links.  Be a connector and spread goodwill to your sister arts organizations, local businesses, clubs, and schools.  See yourself as part of the thread woven between your community.

#2. TEACH
Be generous with your knowledge, share your expertise, and add value. It does make a difference. Ask yourself how can I serve my potential and current students best through social media?   By making yourself available for questions, keeping your website current with informative class descriptions and up to date schedules, and sharing news about your studio it encourages people to register and refer your studio their friends.

#3. ENGAGE
Talk to people…and listen too! Reply to them, help them, connect, ask questions and have fun.  Be yourself, let your personality shine through.  Most importantly, take it one step at a time, be consistent and patient. Social media is not a race with a winner crowned at the end. It is now expected for businesses and brands to be found and be accessible on social media.  People like to feel appreciated, heard, and acknowledged – this is an opportunity stand out from the crowd and grow your business.

#4. PROMOTE
After you take time to share, teach, and engage…then you can sprinkle in some time to promote.  Ask yourself, “what’s in it for them” before you post it. Promoting on social media makes sense and is appropriate when you also take time to be social and add value to your community.  It’s easy to invite people to come in for demo days, promo classes, guest events, open houses, or fundraisers for cause events on social media.  In today’s mobile age, make it easy for people to do business with you by posting links to register online via your website and social media accounts.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY TO SEEING RESULTS.
This can be a big stumbling block for people. The novelty wears off for social media, it starts to eat up too much time or they report no impact on their bottom line. Your updates do not have to be complex. Just be consistent. Give a compliment, connect with someone, be generous. Here’s the catch, you may never be able to truly measure the impact of your social media presence in terms of dollars and students. But you can build your brand and make it easy for people to find you and position yourself as an expert in your training and what you are offering.

BE OPEN TO WHAT IS POSSIBLE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA.
Google indexes much of what you post online.  Be mindful of this.  You’re representing your brand, your image and your legacy.  What do you want to be known for?   There are simple ways to separate your business social media presence from your personal life. I would encourage business owner and teacher to direct their social media relations with students and parents to a public page on Facebook or twitter account that is strictly professional. It is a win-win for everyone.

Now is the time to S.T.E.P. up your social media presence!

– Suzanne Blake Gerety, vice president of Kathy Blake Dance Studios and co-founder of DanceStudioOwner.com.  Connect on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DanceStudioOwner or Twitter: @SuzanneGerety 

About the Author:

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After studying graphic design at the University of Georgia, Jill held several positions in media and marketing including Art Director, Editor and Marketing Director. As a student of dance, she has spent plenty of time in children’s activity centers and puts that experience to work for her in the work she does with Jackrabbit. In addition to her interest in dance, Jill also enjoys sports, gourmet cooking, entertaining, singing and spoiling her five grandchildren.

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