Harnessing the power of social media is vital if you want to grow your home business but there is a right and a wrong way to do it.
There really is no end to the new opportunities that carefully nurtured social media accounts can bring your business if you do it properly!
This article delves into some tips your business should adopt to succeed with social media and use it to your advantage. I originally published this article here and thought it was time for a refresh.
1. Make the commitment to stick with it
There’s no doubt social media is a powerful tool for reaching out to and connecting with your audience, however, it does take a certain level of commitment for it to work well.
It takes time to build your audience and create great, engaging content that resonates with them.
Unfortunately, many businesses quit using social media as a marketing tool after just a few months because it wasn’t working for them right away. It can take at least 6+ months to establish a solid following, often longer. You may not see any results after just a few weeks, or even months, but be patient!
Your efforts on social media are for cultivating connections and building relationships through your channels. If you are willing to put the time in, you’ll reap the benefits. So, stick with it!
2. Set time aside to plan, create and schedule your content
Devoting time each month to planning, creating and scheduling the content for your social media channels gives an element of structure to your marketing efforts and makes the task a lot less overwhelming.
I’m a huge advocate for having a social media marketing strategy in place. Without one, you will be simply posting for the sake of posting and therefore unable to measure if your efforts are successful or not.
Be sure to utilise the online resources available – many of which are free! I personally love using tools like Airtable for planning and compiling my content, Canva for creating quick and simple graphics and videos, and content aggregators such as Feedly or Flipboard for finding articles relevant to my industry.
Using a scheduling tool to schedule your content takes away the stress of having to remember to post to your accounts regularly. With tools like Buffer or ContentStudio, you simply paste in your already-written content, add images/videos/links, set the date and time and the posts are automatically published for you. Magic!
Social media is not “set-and-forget”.
You still need to be present to engage in any comments or messages resulting from your posts.
3. Focus your efforts on select platforms
You should be focusing your efforts on the platforms that will benefit your business the most.
Many business owners think they need to be on all the social media platforms to have an impact. This is not true.
The fact is, not all platforms are suited to your business. If your business is product-based, it may be more suited to visual platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest. Whereas service-based businesses might perform better on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Take the time to get to know who your customers are, which social media platforms they are using and make sure you’re on there too.
If you are unsure of the demographics of each social platform, download the latest version of the Sensis Social Media Report to see where your target market is hanging out. Websites like Social Media News also have up-to-date social media statistics for Australian users.
4. Build trust and credibility with your audience
To begin earning trust, you should be consistently delivering high-quality, relevant content tailored to your target audience. Show them you know your stuff and you’re in it for the long haul.
There is no quick-fix to building the “know, like and trust” factor on social media – it takes time.
This should go without saying but never make things up or over-exaggerate just to sound impressive. In the long run, this can do more harm than good.
Those posts with over-dramatic, sensationalised headlines not only sound ridiculous and fake, but the story is also quite often boring and anticlimactic! Not to mention Facebook will penalise pages that do this by not showing these type of posts to your audience. #endclickbait
It’s perfectly OK to be yourself on social media. In fact, it’s encouraged! After all, the whole purpose of social media is for being… you got it… social.
Do the right thing by your audience and always do what you’ve said you were going to do. Over time, your audience will learn to place their trust in you.
5. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show
Never be afraid to let your personality show on social media channels. This is the real you and this is who your audience want to do business with.
Allow the true YOU to shine through online.
If you’re the bright and bubbly type, bring that energy and enthusiasm to your content and let that be the voice of your brand.
Your audience wants to connect with YOU so pull from your life experiences to find something relatable to share with them. This is your chance to be a storyteller!
They need to know they are doing business with a real human and not a robot, so allow them to get to know the person behind the business.
6. Listen to your audience
Are you truly listening to what your audience are saying? They may be telling you what they want from you but you aren’t hearing it.
By actively listening to your audience and what they are saying via comments, direct messages, phone calls, and about you on social media and across the wider internet, you can gauge a better understanding of what it is they want from you and then adjust your products or services to suit.
Another great reason to listen to your audience is so you can take any questions they are asking and turn them into quality, informative content by way of social media posts, blog articles, videos and more.
Make use of the many tools available for monitoring your brand. “Social listening” is searching the internet to see what is being said about your business or your products/services. There are tools to automate this process, such as Google Alerts, so you aren’t spending days trawling the web.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you’ve found this post to be of value and if so, please share it within your business circles.
I wish you all the best with your social media efforts. However, if you still feel as though managing your own social media is too much, take a look at how I can help or contact me so we can have a chat!