15 Mar Social Media for Entrepreneurs (Not Dummies)
Remember when landlines and snail mail were our favorite forms of communication? I can almost still feel that tiny burst of excitement after coming home to a green blinking light on the answering machine. It meant that someone most likely memorized my number, called me while I was out of the house and cared enough to leave a voicemail. That sense of satisfaction still lives somewhere inside us, but today, we thrive off instant gratification and convenience instead. Face-to-face meetings have turned into Skype meetings. Text messages are favored over phone calls. Feelings can be expressed through a library of never-ending emoticons. But what’s majorly leading the communication evolution is social media… and the conversation never stops.
Social media is no longer just social either, it’s a lifestyle. Outside of talking to each other, we’re buying our favorite products, connecting with brands we love and celebrating shareable life moments. It’s everywhere, is always at our fingertips and gives us everything we crave, including instant gratification. So, if you’re an entrepreneur with a new business you should ask yourself this question: If you’re not on social media, do you really exist?
What’s most interesting about social media is that despite its reign over the conversational universe, some brands and start-ups aren’t utilizing it. These companies are relying on traditional media to drive awareness, but they’re missing out on t opportunity to drive engagement through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, Vimeo, Vine. This isn’t just a laundry list of platforms, it’s a road map of opportunities for you to grow your business. If you haven’t started yet, here are the keys to unlocking your social castle:
- Find the Right Platforms for Your Business
All social media platforms aren’t created equal. Depending on what industry you’re in, some platforms will work harder for you than others. Creating a clear communication strategy will help define who you want to talk to and what you want to say. Every platform caters to a different audience and ultimately, your key messaging will dictate where you belong in the social circle. For example, Instagram users value aesthetically beautiful images and videos, which is why it’s a sweet spot for hospitality and retail brands. Oppositely, if you’re looking for a vehicle to maximize blog content or announce company news, LinkedIn will be your new best friend. Finding the right platform is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. If the shoe doesn’t fit, you put it down and forget about it. If you try on three pairs that make you look amazing – buy them all. 🙂
2. Generate Engaging Content
In the world of social media, content is king. It can make a powerful first impression on someone new to your brand, or convert a follower into a customer. The key to content is making it relevant, attractive and engaging. My rule of thumb is if a piece of content doesn’t excite me, I don’t share it. If I wouldn’t like it, then why would anyone else? Your content should tell your brand story in a way that makes people want to be part of it. It should command attention through authenticity.
3. Automate Posts, Eliminate Stress
If you’ve dappled in social media, even on a personal level, you know it can be time consuming. Thankfully there are scheduling tools like Sprout Social and Hootesuite to automate posting! These tools not only do all the execution work for you, they also offer reporting. As an Entrepreneur with a million responsibilities and a vision to achieve, tools like this will give you more of what you need: time. *collective sigh of relief* Additionally, measuring social success month over month will help you gain a better understanding of what’s working for your business and what’s not. The key metrics to watch on social media are engagement, impressions and clicks that are driving traffic to your website.
4. Invest in Your Brand & Be Consistent
The simple saying, you get what you give, applies across the social media board. Like anything else in business, it requires you to invest time and money in it before it becomes lucrative. The most effective way to build a social media audience is through consistent, targeted promoted posts. These posts allow you to reach your target demographic and raise awareness for your brand. In fact, through Facebook you can create audiences based on interest, geographic location, demographic and online behavior. When you have an important message to share, you can feel confident knowing it will be delivered to the right people – where and when you need it to be.
5. Collaborate with Influences in Your Space
Social media is like high school. It’s made up of different cliques of like-minded people. There’s the jocks who worship sports, the notorious band geeks, the work-out junkies, the artists and of course, the popular crew. In this case, social media influencers represent the group everyone follows and admires. Think… “The Plastics” in Mean Girls. An influencer is someone on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. They have access to a large, curated audience (typically over 100k followers) and act as trusted brand ambassadors to help increase your reach. Collaborating with them works wonders for brand exposure and filling the sales pipeline! First step: find an influencer who loves your vision. Then watch the magic unfold.
No matter what approach you take, leveraging social media for your company is a step in the right direction! Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to me at Melissa@themarketingposse.com.
Peace, love + posting,
The Marketing Posse