Social media is a challenge, but there are great opportunities to use it to grow your business if you're willing to put forth the effort and critical thinking. A few things we need to talk about before diving into specifics. First off, social media is about people. It's about connecting and being heard at its most basic level. Don't lost sight of this! In all of your planning, strategy, and action do not forget that your goal is to connect with real people and help them. Here are 3 tips.
Tip #1: All social networks are not created equal.
Most of the large social networks are very different from one another. They're not all equal for the purposes of your business. Do some research on the total number of users, demographics and culture of each of the major social networks. This will help prepare you for action on the next tip. Which social networks fit you and your company best from a culture and personality standpoint?
Tip #2: You can't do everything well, so don't try to.
If you try to be awesome on every social media network, you will fail. People desire authenticity. It will likely be awkward if you try to force a social network that doesn't fit you and your business. Think a plumber using Instagram or Snapchat. You need to think about who your customer is and where they are connecting with others online.
- What is their gender?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What is their income level?
- How much education do they have?
- Are they married? Kids?
- What is their occupation?
- What is important to them?
- What are their interests/hobbies?
- What kind of lifestyle do they live?
If you determine your business needs to be present on a network that doesn't fit your personality, you should probably outsource it. Pick the network or networks that make the most sense for your business.
Tip #3: Once you start, the party don't stop.
Social media is not a project it's an ongoing effort. It's part of your marketing strategy now. You can't just post a few times and then not post for a month. You need to be consistently posting to be connecting with people. You're seeking to build relationships and gain trust from your followers by helping them. Social media needs to be part of at least one person's role and responsibilities. If you're flying solo in your business, the best thing is likely to use an automation tool like MeetEdgar. I cannot tell you how much time and stress MeetEdgar has saved me. MeetEdgar allows you to determine a social media posting schedule using different post categories and then fill up a library of content that the tool will pull from to post according to your schedule. It's awesome! From my experience, this is the best way to ensure you stay consistent. Either make it your responsibility, someone else's, or Edgar's.
Don't let social media scare you or be your holy grail. It will likely not make or break your business. Remember, business is about people and relationships. Social media can enhance and build relationships, but be careful to not just use it as a megaphone for your message. Do you like being yelled at? Neither does anyone else. Use social media to have conversations with people. If your business is about deeply connecting and serving people, it will be difficult to go wrong.