There is no way of getting away from it these days. Social media is everywhere. From national elections to Royal Families, even the Queen is getting in on the act (have you seen the Royal Tweets yet?)
So how can you use social media marketing to promote your business?
Number one – as Chris Ducker says in Youpreneur – you are building the business of YOU. So how can we find out more about you? You should be using your social media accounts to share more about you, your business and what you can offer your followers. It’s not actually about YOU per se, but more about how you can help your target audience.
Stop, strike reverse…. I just said you should be using social channels to build the business of you, but not to talk about yourself. How does that work?The most interesting social media business accounts are actually those that serve their audience and potential customers. Sharing helpful tips and knowledge while also sharing some of your own personality naturally creates brand awareness. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Before we look at how to use social media for your business, let’s have a quick conversation.
Social media is not about the numbers. It’s about the engagement you have.
You may build a following on Instagram of over 10,000 accounts, but if your engagement rate is below 1%, this won’t help you build your business. It is better to have an account of 2000-4000 (known as a micro-influencer account) with engagement rates of over 3%, than to grow a massive following who are not interested in what you are posting.
To find out what your own engagement rate is, you can use a great tool called Hype Influencer (and if you are nosey, like most of the human race, while you are there, plug in the Instagram accounts of the businesses who claim to be highly successful on Insta and you can see how you compare ;))
How do you get engagement on Social Media?
Follow these steps to start off:
1. Find out what your audience wants help with.
You can do this in a few ways – firstly you can ASK them. In a quiz, poll, survey (use Survey Monkey) or via your email list.
Secondly, you can use social listening. This involves hanging out on the social media networks where your ideal client spends the most time and actively looking out for the questions they ask.
For example, my ideal client is a business owner who wants to learn how to use LinkedIn for their business. Where will I find them? If they are a total beginner, they might actually be asking about LinkedIn inside of a Facebook group! Or a Twitter chat. If my ideal client is someone who has a basic LinkedIn account who wants to move to the next level using LinkedIn, then I am more likely to find them on LinkedIn itself.
2. Start helping your audience.
Start by answering their questions. This can be done several ways – if they are posting a query inside a Facebook group, you can answer directly. But if you start to use social listening, and see the same questions popping up time and again, then maybe you should think about creating a video or blog post answering those questions. And then share that content on your social networks.
3. Show up.
Each of the social media platforms works slightly differently. In my experience, these are the number of posts you would have in an ideal world:
- If you are going to grow a presence on Facebook, then I suggest you post 2-3 times per week on your Facebook page.
- If you are starting out on Instagram, you should post once a day (and start looking at creating Insta Stories several times a day)
- To grow your presence on LinkedIn, post updates a few times a week, and start commenting on other people’s updates.
- For Twitter, find hashtags or Twitter chats to get involved in, and start tweeting.
4. Stop trying to be everywhere.
As a small business owner or a Youpreneur, you cannot be on all the social networking sites all of the time and still work on your business. Decide who is your ideal client, find out what platforms they are spending most time on, and start to build your social media presence on there. You might find it quite liberating not to be on all the platforms every day!
5. Plan in advance
Choose your topics for each month. Create content on your own website or video channel. Share those pieces of content on your social media. Here’s an example:
After finishing reading this blog post, grab a pen and paper, and write down three months. Each month represents one topic. e.g. Month 1 – LinkedIn profile.
For each month, split the month into four blocks – one for each week. For each of the four blocks, write down one topic.
- Week 1 – Why you need a LinkedIn Profile
- Week 2 – How to write your LinkedIn summary
- Week 3 – Your LinkedIn profile pic and cover photo
- Week 4 – How to get recommendations for your LinkedIn Profile
Block out time in your calendar to create content for that topic. Once you are creating your content, create images to go with the blog/video and schedule them for your social media platforms. (If this sounds like a lot of work, then consider outsourcing the image creation and social media posts to a virtual assistant.)
If you can create this type of plan for each quarter you will not run out of content for your social media! And you can reuse and repurpose that content.
To recap – understand who your ideal client is, what social media platform they are on, what they want to know about and then create engaging content that answers their questions and show up consistently. Have fun!
Louise Brogan is the owner of Social Bee NI -a consulting and training company helping businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals to raise their profile through online marketing. Louise is a speaker, podcaster, trainer and host of the Social Media Bootcamp Belfast.