Social Baby Steps For The Newbie Internet Entrepreneur
by Bonnie Chomica | on December 23, 2011
Did you think that only big companies benefit from using social media? Well, think again. The Internet levels the playing field, so you can look like the big guys.
The Rookie Internet Entrepreneur
If you’re new to social marketing, don’t panic. Everybody was a rookie once and you can easily get started without getting injured along the way. The key is to focus on just a couple of platforms or networks, and then expand after you get more familiar with the social world.
My key online marketing networks for social media are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also use some others like Digg, DisQus and Redditt, but the more platforms you use, the more time you invest. Depending on your business goals or any special marketing campaigns, you may want to branch out, but initially, keep it simple.
You can’t learn unless you try. I used to read obsessively about social media, but I didn’t really understand all of it, until I dove into Twitter and started using Facebook Pages. It will take awhile to ‘get it’, but you will. Internet Entrepreneurs know they need to learn and try new things.
Twitter – sometimes called a microblog, because you can only post 140 characters at a time. The idea, as with all social networks, is to connect with people and to share information or experiences. People like to share articles, blogs, reports, news, photos, and funny stories, etc. Obviously you will want to share your own links, too:)
Find people to start following (many will follow you back), and at first, just listen to what they are saying. If you don’t like, or are not interested in what you hear, then you can unfollow them. It’s that easy. Find someone else, and just keep growing your network.
When you are ready, start tweeting. Just do it, and be yourself. Nobody will slap your wrist if you say something wrong.
Link Shorteners – used to shrink a long, rambling URL (website address) into a shorter one that can better fit into a Twitter post (called a Tweet). When you only have 140 spaces, sharing a link to a story can take up the whole box. Link shorteners to the rescue!
There are many services out there, like goo.gl, Hootsuite, TinyURL. Just do a search and try different ones out.
I use a service at “Bit.ly.com”. It takes a long url, with loads of coded characters and numbers – you know the ones, and shortens them to 12 or 13 characters.
The long url for this blog post is:
The shortened Bit.ly url is:
Besides shortening your link, Bit.ly also tracks how many people click on your links so you can analyse what types of articles, or stories, people like to read.
Facebook – the largest social network with over 800 millions users, mostly people like you and me. I’ll assume you have a personal Facebook account, but if you don’t, get one.
The best way to tap into that huge audience is to promote your business by creating a Facebook Page. It’s like having a mini-website. You have to have a personal account to create a Page, and I would recommend keeping your personal friends and family on your own personal account, and keep your business posts on your page. You don’t really want your customers to know what you had for dinner, or that you are playing Farmville.
The 3-1-1 Rule
There are some rules, etiquette and expected behaviour in the social media playground, and you’ll want to make sure you promote your online business professionally. You need to show that you are an expert in your field, a leader, and not just selling your stuff.
The basic rule for posting to any social platform is the three-one-one rule… 3-1-1
If you are going to post information five times in a day (as an example),
3… Three of them should be adding value, sharing something
1… One should be something about you, or something that shows you are a person
1… The last one can be about your company, an offer, a promotion, etc.
If you post a sales pitch five times a day, people will stop following you and find someone else.
The Internet Entrepreneur Gets Engaged
You’ve probably heard this before, but social media is about engaging people and having conversations. Just be friendly and authentic.
Nobody wants to hear from somebody that sounds like a corporation. People buy from people, but people want to be helped. They want to find solutions. They don’t want a hard sales pitch.
Give them something entertaining, enlightening, or educational.
Help is Everywhere
There are so many learning resources to get more tips. Do a search for things like Facebook 101, Getting Started with Twitter, or Social Media Bootcamp. Some sites will ask you to sign up for a free course and you’ll get an email everyday or once a week to guide you through how to get started with different platforms.
But remember, don’t just read them, get busy and dive in.
Jump into social media, try something new each week, and have fun. A savvy Internet Entrepreneur will know that his or her competitors are on top of the latest ‘next best thing’.
To become a true online Socialite, learn about the smart way to become an Internet Entrepreneur, from my friend Jeff.