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HDC-Social-Media-Blog-2388Have you found yourself wondering, dreaming about what it would be like? Trying to decide whether or not you should take that final step? Are you really ready to commit and take the plunge? It’s not a decision to make lightly, but if you’re ready to devote the time and energy to making it work, saying “I Do” to social media could be one of the best things you’ve ever done. If you’ve decided to take the leap, here are 10 steps to help you start your union off right.

1. Pick a date. Give yourself two or three months to plan the details of your launch, campaign, and strategy.

2. Choose your locations. Which social sites do you want to be a part of? There are hundreds of different options available, so consider what you want your social page to do. Research the different platforms available, so you can figure out what would be the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind, however, that it’s better to decide against using a site than to join, post a few times, and then lose interest.

3. Determine your goals. What do you hope to achieve by launching your social account? Are you looking to spread brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, or generate leads? Write out a plan with your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Check in with your plan monthly to see what you’ve achieved and what you need to update.

4. Research the competition. Find out what your competition is doing on their social sites. Pinpoint which of their topics are popular and which aren’t, so you can learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes. Figure out what you want to do similarly, and what will set you apart.

5. Make a schedule. Make a social calendar so you won’t have to scramble to figure out if you should be posting something business related, taking a poll, or sharing something inspirational.

6. Create guidelines. Decide ahead of time whether you want to use “I” or “we” when crafting messages for your business. Will your brand share it’s political and religious views or give controversial topics a wide berth? How will you respond to negative comments or remarks on your pages?

7. Set the tone. Whether you are on one social site or dozens of them, be sure you have a consistent brand image from the start. Set up engaging about pages with contact information, quality images, and appealing header images for each of your chosen social sites.

8. Try out some test posts. Write 10-15 test posts for each of your social sites and request feedback and edits from someone you work with or who is experienced with social networking. Make sure your content is worthy of your brand and sending the right message.

9. Spread the word. This is a big deal! Shout it from the rooftops. Add links for your social sites to your email signature, flyers, website, business cards, yard signs, etc.

10. Tie the knot! Get online and start posting! Make sure you track your posts, interaction, and followers right from the beginning so you can determine what strategies are and aren’t helping you reach your social goals.

Congratulations, and best of luck to you in this wonderful endeavor you’re about to embark upon. Just remember to be consistent, responsive, and dedicated, and your social sites should thrive. If you ever need help, check out Homes.com Social for assistance posting and managing your online presence.