March '13

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Business Sense Be social successful Navigate a strategy in social media four steps. By Kristin Cline C hances are you've set up your business with one or two social media accounts, but do you feel confident in navigating this technology-based realm of relationships? Cie Studios, an interactive marketing agency, specializes in building for our clients campaigns that entertain, inform, and empower. And social media plays an important role in building connections through interaction. Following are four steps you can put into place toward making the most of your own restyling business' presence on social media. 1. Have a strategy Real-time, 24-7 nature of social media can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Figure out who in your organization will be responsible for posting and how much time she or he can contribute. This 58 Restyling | March 2013 RE-March-2013.indd 58 could be 10 minutes per day or one to two hours a week for smaller outfits; larger companies could employ a full-time staff member. Figure out what realistically fits your needs and plan accordingly. Next, create a weekly or monthly content calendar. This will help you brainstorm, gather the best materials and diversify your posts. If you feel overwhelmed, try thinking about something you could repeat each week (such as "Turbo Tuesdays" or a weekly "New Product Feature"). 2. Provide compelling content Your goal with social media is to be a butterfly, not a wallflower. Rather than being a bystander, you should be actively talking and being talked about. In order to accomplish this, you need to think outside the box and create content that grabs people's attention. Figuring out what to share might seem daunting as you get started, but just think of all the potential content your business generates: pictures of customer cars; highlighting industry trends; sharing new products; and using your professional knowledge are all perfect places to start. Starting with your strengths should give you an edge in creating content that's unique. 3. Build a relationship You're not dealing with Yellow Pages — social media is interactive! Enter into a conversation and embrace the opportunity to learn more about your customers (and, of course, potential customers). When posting your content, make a goal of comments, "shares," or "likes." These may be generated by compelling content but they can also be encouraged by getting creative. Try asking people's opinion on a possibly controversial picture (love/hate it), have fun adding a caption on something weird, or solicit feedback on a new product. 2/6/13 3:05 PM

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