Social media can become one of your best friends and the most powerful tools that will grow your business and personal brand, but only if used right. Okay, so you know that your potential customers are on social media. You just need to get in front of their eyes in a way that’s not pushy, but grabs attention and aims at forming a genuine relationship with them.
Unlike what many companies are doing, social media marketing is a long-term strategy. So forget about setting up an account and automating it. Instead, prepare to invest a lot of time on each specific channel where your target audience hangs out. It will take weeks and even months before you see results in terms of new customers, subscribers and users.
Here are some things to keep in mind to leverage the power of social media for your business:
1. Be authentic.
Don’t make your products sound better than they are, don’t overdo it when talking about yourself or your mission, don’t buy followers and don’t keep posting about or asking for money. On social media, it works better if you’re real. If not, people will simply stop following you and go check out a more interesting profile of one of your competitors.
What does it mean to be authentic online?
Start by posting inspirational content but adding a personal touch to it, like a description under the post where you share a story that taught you a life lesson. Create and post behind-the-scenes photos and videos to show the funny side of the work, to make people familiar with what’s going on in the office and/or during meetings, or just upload photos from daily life that you find interesting to show that you’re more than a brand. People connect with people.
2. Engagement is one of the key metrics.
The number of followers you have isn’t that important. Some have hundreds of thousands of them but only a tiny percent of these are commenting, liking or visiting the website. Engagement is what you should be aiming for.
It can happen by creating quality content, posting consistently, asking questions, personally contacting some users or like-minded business owners or potential partners to thank them, also sharing the things you read that other people have written, or products and tools you find useful that hep you get a lot done.
Use hashtags on Instagram, follow people in the same niche on Twitter, pay for targeted ads on Facebook, and include all the important information about who you are and what you do on LinkedIn – all these will help you find the right people.
3. Add value.
Before you start expecting many followers to visit your profile and like what you have to offer, you’ll need to put something on the table, for free. and build a name for yourself. Giving comes before getting anything out of it. So leave the financial goals behind and focus on creating, sharing and providing value now.
In your profile, mention a few words about yourself and your business but also how it helps people. Share the solution, not the product or service.
Create motivational image quotes yourself, or have someone do it for you. Make them original, add your logo, and share them with the world without expecting anything in return.
Run contests with giveaways. Let the prize be one of your products, a free consultation or chat with you, or using your software free for the first few months. That’s how you get people interested and still make your products and services more popular.
And share the links on social media. Even send a message individually to the people who are most engaged with your content and who you know will like your posts.
Social media can be fun if you do it right, and measure results all the time so you know what works best.
Make sure you diversift your time and efforts, though, but over time do focus more on the channels that lead to more followers, relationships or customers.