HAVE YOU? By now you’ve probably heard over and over again that social media is crucial for your business.
It’s the ultimate tool for getting your business in front of new eyes, for generating leads, for establishing your brand online and for connecting with your customers, even if they are on the other side of the world.
But it can be daunting to craft the perfect social media strategy. With all the new and improved features on Facebook, Instagram and other major platforms there are literally hundreds of ways to engage with your audience – how do you find what works for you?
- Know your followers
It’s a marketing must to understand your audience. You should know their preferences in and out and be familiar with their online habits. Remember that people often go on social media to be entertained, to connect with others and to get information.
Use these facts to drive your social media strategy, and don’t forget that thousands of businesses are clamouring for space in people’s newsfeeds. So you have to stand out in order to make an impact on your followers, and the first step in the process is figuring out what your followers care about.
- Find your consistent voice
How do you portray your brand on social media? Are you light and playful? Sombre and serious? Fun and flirty? Informative and direct? Long-winded or succinct? Your brand should have a consistent and specific voice that followers can identify with.
Your voice is part of your branding, and it can make a big difference in your online presence.
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram, you’ve probably seen profiles that practically have a formula for their posts: there is a colour scheme that you can see throughout the photos, the captions follow a similar format and tone and everything seems to work together nicely.
These Instagrammers have nailed the concept of having a consistent voice, and people are drawn to the clean, streamlined appearance that they present.
You don’t have to be an expert at marketing or graphic design to create a consistent voice for your company online.
Start by studying successful businesses and try to imitate their online presence while still staying true to your brand. If you’re struggling at first, don’t stress – it may take time and some trial and error to figure out who you are online.
Once you’ve found a voice that you’re happy with, engage consistently with your audience using some of the methods and strategies listed below.
- Focus on one or two platforms at a time
It’s tempting to make a bunch of social profiles for your business when you’re first starting out, but keeping up with five or six social media sites is a huge job.
It’s better to hone in on one or two websites and to have the best profiles possible on those websites instead of spreading yourself too thin on others.
Some entrepreneurs worry that if they aren’t present on every platform their customers won’t be able to find them, but consider this:
DID YOU KNOW: Statistics show that the average person has 7.6 active social media profiles and 98 percent of people have at least one social media profile.
Additionally, hundreds of millions of people use search engines everyday, and if you have a website you are hopefully visible to those who would find you online.
If you try to nail down your strategy on multiple social media sites you may end up overwhelmed and confused – you don’t want to be in that position as a business owner! Mastering each site requires different skills and a lot of time.
Perfecting your strategy on one site and moving on to another later on is a more practical approach.
- Get personal
Some people are uncomfortable with mixing business and personal life, but you shouldn’t be afraid to post about your business from time to time on your personal social profiles.
After all, people want to know about what you’re up to, and your business is probably a big part of your life!
Additionally, your friends and family are probably some of the first people who will support you when you roll out new products or introduce an additional service. As long as you don’t inundate your peers with business posts, it’s okay to let your social circle know about what you’re working on.
- Use video
Video is king when it comes to meaningful and relatable content. If you are comfortable with using live video, give yourself bonus points – live videos can make a huge impact on your online presence. Your video doesn’t have to be anything fancy or unique.
Ideally, your product or service solves a problem for your customers. Use that as a starting point for your content creation and make videos about the problem you solve. You can even post your videos to Facebook Watch Parties or Instagram Watch to increase your views!
- Run challenges and contests
If you’ve spent any time on social media you’ve probably seen challenges and contests that go viral and end up with massive engagement.
People like participating in fun social media trends and winning cool freebies. Try hosting a contest through your social media to increase engagement and connect with your followers.
It’s even better if you can find other businesses to partner with for giveaways – this increases your reach and helps you tap into new audiences.
- Host a webinar
Webinars are like informational videos, but longer, more informative and more interactive.
You can use social media platforms to host them or you can build them on a separate platform and advertise them via social media. Be sure to include an “upsell” at the end of your webinar so that you can convert your efforts into sales.
You can also include some kind of freebie or discount code to thank people for participating in the webinar – and be sure to let everyone know if you plan to host another one!
- Utilise polls
Some social media sites allow you to start polls. Polls can be great for generating discussion, getting feedback from your followers and capturing people’s interest. It takes seconds for your followers to respond to a poll – it’s a low-effort activity that can boost engagement with your followers in the long term.
- Post photos
Few people want to read walls of text when they’re scrolling through social media. If you want to make a long post, try pairing it with a relevant photo that tells a story and draws your followers in. Photos liven up your newsfeed and can often generate lots of likes and comments.
- Ask questions
No one wants to be talked at endlessly – use your Facebook page or Instagram profile as a virtual “dinner table” where people can gather, share their thoughts without judgment and give you input.
Open-ended questions are best for getting people to open up, but yes and no questions are good to use as well.
- Take advantage of holidays and special occasions
Is there a big holiday coming up? Is someone in your company having a birthday? Use these fun events to offer your followers a discount or to give away something that your customers are excited about.
Just be sure to do this tastefully – unfortunately, there are examples all over the web of companies that tried to capitalise on a holiday or a big event, but did a poor job of it and ended up insulting and alienating their customers instead. Use important dates and events to your advantage, but keep it classy!
- Use games to increase engagement
Social media games are another fun and light-hearted way that you can touch base with your followers.
A social media game can be as simple as picking several pictures of items and asking your followers which one they like best.
Again, simple actions can go a long way toward increasing your engagement and establishing your presence online.
These are just a handful of ways to get your followers to interact with your business through social media. If none of these work for you, do some research to learn about other methods or get creative and design a strategy that works for your brand, or get outside feedback on how to handle your social media profiles.
If you want to use these methods but aren’t sure where to begin, start small – try one or two methods and see how your followers react to those, and if those aren’t sticking then try some other ways.
As an entrepreneur you constantly have to evaluate and be quick to pivot to something new if you aren’t getting your desired results – it’s the name of the game!
If you need to make social media work for you and don’t have the time or energy, we can help you. Here are 4 ways we can help you accelerate your lead generation results on social media and beyond:
1. Grab our free 4-Week LinkedIn Profile Optimisation Course
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3. Join our LinkedIn Influencer Program so you can “Show out” instead of just showing up
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4. Work with our team privately
If you’d like to work directly with us to create new marketing opportunities send us a quick message Click here … tell us a little about your business and we’ll organise a time for a deeper chat