Four social-media basics you must master

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When every third person on the Internet (it seems) is a self-proclaimed social media guru, it can be hard to determine which advice to take and from whom to take it. So we’ve decided to go back to the basics, and bring you four things you may have forgotten along the way.

It’s going to take time

For the Apples, Nikes, and Burger Kings of the world, a million Facebook fans or Twitter followers in a week would be no big feat – in fact, it would practically be expected. You will probably not see this level of results in your first week. To be quite honest, you may not see any results in the first week. Social media isn’t an endeavor for the easily discouraged.

It’s going to take consistency

According to Twitter, site users send 140 million tweets each day. How often do you tweet? “Whenever I remember that my company has a Twitter account” is not a good answer. Most social media success comes on the heels of strategy, research, and a consistent posting schedule. If you don’t keep up, nobody will remember you’re there (including, apparently, yourself).

It’s going to take money

On its surface, that statement doesn’t seem to make sense. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wordpress, and every other social media site on the Internet – they’re all free…right? Well yes, that part is right. But then you need a person to do your social media. And you may want some monitoring or posting software. These aren’t free.

It's going to take a smart website

In fact, your website is still the most important piece of your social media program for one simple reason: ownership. If you have a Facebook account but no website, you’ve done it backwards. You don’t own the information on your Facebook page -- Facebook does. Theoretically, you could wake up one morning to discover that your business’s Facebook page isn’t there anymore.

In this way, your website is your house. Keep your house clean. Make repairs swiftly, so you don’t become an eyesore. Give it a fresh coat of paint once and awhile. People will be much more likely to stop by for a visit.

Above all, don’t forget why you’re using social media in the first place: to have conversations. When you keep this in mind, the rest should flow naturally.

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