You may have heard of social media; in fact, you may dislike it to the point where you’ve thrown out your iPhone or Android, favouring a simple Nokia model from the early 00’s, just to get away from the multitude of updates, statuses, selfies and spam. We don’t blame you, a social presence can be a soul sapping thing. Your identity is hi-jacked and made available twenty-four hours a day, and pretty soon, you can’t go to bed without checking Facebook, emails or business postings on LinkedIn before you settle down. It sounds terrifying, doesn’t it?
But think of how you can make it work for your business… All of those minds, those eyes, those desperate information guzzlers looking for a new product or service without visiting a bricks and mortar store or physical studio. It sounds like a perfect business opportunity, wouldn’t you agree? But how can you make it work for you, when time is of the essence and you’ve almost run out of your last bottle?
Don’t Fail to Plan
A common mistake among small and large business owners is the structural staple of planning – social media requires planning. It’s not enough to sign up for these accounts, throw up random posts and expect people to come to you – not only is this attitude self-defeating, but it is at odds with the social media philosophies.
Social exists to engage the customer, not sell them something. By identifying target markets, tailoring specific products and services to meet the interests and personalities of your intended demographic(s) (and yes, try to be as inclusive as you can – two or three targets will do nicely), you are directly appealing to your intended audience, using language and images that connect with their aspirations and intentions.
Nobody likes a sales guy, lest of all social media goers.
Find a Social Media Manager
Pulling your new accounts together into a harmonious strategy is A LOT of work; once you’ve established a base plan as to whom you’d like to target, hire a professional to do the heavy lifting while you get on with keeping the cogs ticking over. Be clear on your expectations, discuss your goals and desired demographics, and be honest about where you’d like social media to take your business.
A social media specialist will have insights beyond your experience, so always be prepared to listen to their suggestions, and if you’re comfortable, test drive a few strategies to see what gets results.
Engage and Network
This point goes back to planning. Engagement or communication is essential to any successful social media campaign; the next time you’re wrapping up a meeting or attending a networking event, hand out a little card with all of your social media details and invite those you found interesting or knowledgeable to follow your business, solidifying a casual working relationship.
Don’t be afraid to setup a LinkedIn account either, as many industry workers just like you are spending more time networking online, building their profiles and contributing to constructive conversations. Also, liking and following those you’ve worked with in the past can do wonder for your profile – they will follow you, you’ll follow them, and the possibilities are endless, as social media tends to pay it forward.
Asking for help on social media can be daunting; whether you decide to ask an experienced friend, or an ethical search company like Search Factory, don’t delay – it’s time to get online and reap the benefits. And if you don’t? Your competitors will!
About the Author: This article is provided by Nick Brahannin.