Any small business owner will tell you that just running the actual business itself can be overwhelming – add the daunting task of bringing in more business through marketing, and you could be working 24 hours a day.
But once you’ve decided to explore integrating social media into your marketing plan, what’s next?
Where can you go to learn more about social media tools, as well as stay on top of all the many changes being made as these tools evolve and grow? Where in the world do you start?
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the best places to learn more about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Slideshare and LinkedIn is right from the companies that created these tools! Each site has a fairly comprehensive (though not always user-friendly) section for learning how to use the tools, as well as tips and tricks that they post to other social channels.
In addition, you can often find community-vetted tools and resources that will help you use social media or expand your knowledge, that are free to use.
Starting today and for the next few weeks, we’ll be pointing you to the often overlooked instructions, manuals, video guides and how-tos for your favorite social media sites, as well as lists of the top external resources – that YOU can help us create! (More on that next week.)
Let’s look at Twitter first.
Whether you need help understanding what Twitter actually is, how it can help your business or need video tutorials on specific features, Twitter doesn’t disappoint in either quantity or quality of free resources they have, both in their support section, and on YouTube.
If you need help getting started on Twitter, these are the places you can start with for assistance.
This is a searchable knowledgebase of information about the site, where to find specific features and how to use them. You’ll also find links to
- the Status blog, a place where you can check whether a feature on Twitter is down or if it’s just you or possibly the software you’re using.
- The Twitter tour, where you can learn the layout of Twitter without logging in or creating an account.
- The Twitter basics page, a list of articles for beginners
- The Twitter support account, which you communicate with when you have specific questions not answered on the site
Specifically for business users, this section of Twitter is less about how to use specific features, and more about how to get the most from the Twitter for business experience. Some highlights:
- A section on building community using Twitter, specifically for busineses
- Links to the Small Biz Twitter account and official Twitter marketing tools
- Case studies of Twitter success stories that you can sort by industry or company size
- Help section for Twitter advertising and the Twitter Advertising Blog
I don’t know about you but my respect for a social media tool goes up when they leverage other social media sites to get their point across to me. Not to mention how much it helps any how-to instructions to have visuals. Twitter actually has more than one YouTube channel, but you can access all of them from their main page. Some of the most helpful videos available now:
- Tutorial on the graphics in your Twitter profile
- The Twitter Stories playlist
- “What can your business do…in just 140 characters?“
To close out this official list, I’ll leave you with the video summarizing 2012 on Twitter.
Next time, we’ll have a round-up of the top Twitter tools, and I’ll tell you how you can contribute your favorites. Of course, Web.com Community members have the advantage of being able to contribute their ideas, right now, to the Women Grow Business group.