Social media – for better or for worse, it’s here to stay!
You hear that social media is a powerful tool for your business. It can raise awareness of your brand, allow you to connect with potential customers, and possibly lead to direct sales. It makes sense to connect with more people.
But with all the options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. The idea of getting your head around blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest can feel a bit…impossible.
Which ones do you choose?
What are you supposed to post?
And how on Earth you will find the TIME to manage them all!?
Before you jump straight in at the deep end and choose your social media platforms, you’ll want to answer these questions first.
1. what story do you want to tell?
Sometimes we get really caught up in our idea. All too often I hear people pushing what they offer on to other people rather than truly listening to what the customer wants and being empathetic to that.
Why is it so hard to find the right words?
Because the screen gets in the way.
Without face-to-face communication, it can be easy to forget that you’re speaking to a real person. Someone just like you. Someone who is interested in what you have to say.
Think about the story that you want to share with them. Help that person FEEL your message. Let them know that you understand. Allow them to make a connection.
2. who is your target audience?
Once your message is clear, you’ll want to understand exactly who that message is for.
Your target audience on social media is not always going to be your target customer.
What’s the difference?
Your customer will ultimately be the person who is purchasing your product or service. You may choose that you want to connect with those customers as your audience, but your audience could be someone who has no purchasing power.
For example, let’s say you want to deliver mindfulness workshops into a corporate setting. You could choose to get the attention of employees in the hopes that they can persuade the decision makers to invest in your services. These employees could be one audience – the influencers of your target customers.
Or you could choose to engage directly with the decision makers, such as HR directors. These decision makers are those more likely to be your customers, but the message they respond to will be different.
You don’t have to pick just one, but you do need to be really clear about who you’re talking to online.
3. where do they hang out?
Although most businesses should embrace some form of social media, you really do not have to be everywhere!!
You only need to be where your audience is.
Let’s stick with our mindfulness workshops.
You have two target audiences – the employees and the HR directors.
The employees may be hanging out on Twitter or on Facebook, engaging in topics such as mindfulness, well-being, or stress management. They may also be on Pinterest or Instagram, liking and sharing photos of peaceful places.
The HR directors might be on LinkedIn, talking about HR topics and employee well-being. But remember, they are more than just their job title! They could also be hanging out in other places and engaging in those different types of conversations.
If you’re not sure where to find your customers online, just ask them!
4. how do you want them to engage with you?
Once you figure out who you want to talk to and where to find them, you’ll want to establish a place where people can have conversations with you and your brand.
Whatever platform you decide on, it can’t be all about the sell.
Share helpful content (your own and curated). Boost your credibility. Invite conversation.
Let your audience connect with you in a way that doesn’t feel like traditional advertising. Be yourself and let your passion shine through.
Your audience will remember you as someone who offers value to them and when they’re ready for what you’re offering, they’ll want to buy from someone who they have already established a relationship with.
5. what do you want to achieve?
Take a step back from the quest for followers, clicks, likes and share and instead think about why you really want to be involved in social media.
It’s not a popularity contest.
It doesn’t matter if you have hundreds or thousands of followers if they aren’t the right type of audience.
You will have better and more meaningful conversations with smaller groups of people who are actually listening.
So if follower growth shouldn’t be the main goal, what should be?
Think about the goals you have for your business.
If one is to provide amazing customer service, you may wish to create an environment where customers can engage with you and ask questions.
If another is to build partnerships with likeminded organisations, you may wish to share their content.
Social media accounts do not often translate into direct sales. For most businesses, it’s just about helping people get to know you, like you, and trust you.
Create a great experience and they’ll be likely to return.
over to you
What have you found to be your biggest hurdle when it comes to social media? Leave a comment below and let us know.
p.s. pass it on
Loved this post? Then use the icons below to tweet it, like it on Facebook and send it to specific friends via email.