Social Media 101 – Step 1: Define…

shakeO.k., you’re ready to step into the much ballyhooed “Social Media.” You’re pretty sure you want (or need) a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Tumblr blog and a site. Good! Independent Studios can help with all of those – but what the hell do you do with them? What’s the plan of attack? What good will they do?

Well, I’m going to give you the “wisdom” I have in that realm. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be popping up a post or three a week to guide you through the hows and whys of Social Media and Social Marketing. The price? Free. Why? Because I’m awesome and I’m tired of seeing people waste a lot of time, energy and money on Social Media & Social Marketing when, with a little coaching and real thinking, everyone can do this and do it right. Then, we all win.

Now, when I’m doling out these little gems of knowledge, keep in mind that every business is different, so some of it might not be quite as applicable to you as it is to others. But, at the same time, all businesses are very much the same – so I’ll strive for that universality. If you can’t apply one day’s lessons, wait a day…

Now – first and foremost is:

Lesson 1: Define Who and What You Are

Going forward, the one thing that I am going to assume is that you’ve done this. It is, without question, the single most important thing to do in social media and social marketing. Now – read that lesson again – it’s not saying “Define Who and What You Think You Are” or “Define Who and What People Expect From You,” or even “Define Who and What You Ought To Be.” It’s a very finite thing – you need to define what you are as a business (or person, or cause, brand or whatever.)

If you nail down this definition, everything else you do in social marketing and social media becomes a lot easier. Heck – it’ll make everything about your whole business a lot easier.

If you’re a real estate agent – what kind? How do you want people to perceive your business? Are you a single person, offering singular and personalized service, or are you part of a conglomerate that offers 8 zillion different services? Make up your mind – and then stick to it.

Are you part of a business? If so what is the personality of that business? What’s your “brand?” Every business has a personality – just as much as an individual does. Find it – define it.

Are you a “sole proprietor?” What’s your personality? How do you want to do business and what sets you apart? What’s the added value that you bring over Joe Schmoe? Define it.

Really, this is a HUGE question – but it’s so relevant because that definition is going to dictate, in a lot of ways, how you approach the social thing. An individual is going to approach relationships a lot differently than a group – and the “personality” of those interactions must stay consistent in order to build the social marketing empire that you’re looking for.

Now – The Exercise:

Write your business name/your name on a piece of paper (and yes, I’ve done this myself) and start adding adjectives. Are you (your business, product or service) personal, broad, awesome, lame, helpful, funny, cool, hip or useless? (if you’re useless – you might just want to stop reading and go watch some TV.) Write 20. Start with the stuff you KNOW you are. If you need filler, end with stuff you’d LIKE to be. Keep in mind that if you define yourself with these terms, you’re going to use them a lot – and if you’re full of crap, PEOPLE WILL FIND OUT. Be real, be honest – even if it’s not pretty.

Now, narrow it down to 10. Cut the fat.

Then, narrow that down to 5. Trim it a little more.

Now, narrow it to 3.

Now, you have a very quick-to-digest list of what your business/product/service personality is. The other nice thing about this is that you now have an easy “in” to writing a killer tagline for your business/person/brand/product. Keep those 3 things in mind and get ready to step into Step 2: Consistency of Message…