You’ve heard that you need to use social media to build your business. But first, what actually is social media? Social media is a distribution system. So what does this mean? You can think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms as trains to cities of people. When you hop on a train to get to the next city, you have to pay for a ticket. Similarly, you often have to “pay” by investing your time on social media platforms in order to reach more people and build a brand.
Although this can be an upfront investment, think of the payoff. With a curated social media presence, you are able to distribute your message to targeted demographics; these are the people or businesses most likely to buy from you. But before someone can buy from you, they need to know that your business exists and what your products or services are.
Have a presence on the social channels that matter to your target market
Your first step to using social media to build your brand and your following—and ultimately to build your business—is to have a social media profile that encourages people to follow you.
To get people to become followers of your brand, you need to give them an incentive or motivation; a reason for following you.
Different markets have varying preferences about the social channels that they engage with the most. And the easiest way to reach your target market? Meet them where they’re already spending their time!
Once you identify your target market, set up attractive, modern profiles on the social channels that they use. Here are some tips to make sure your brand is distinct and your profile is attractive to your potential followers:
- Have a consistent brand look. Make your logos, profile pictures, header images, user name, and information consistent across platforms. If you’re on two different platforms, but you’re using two different logos and variations on your business name, customers won’t recognize you as the same business.
- Have a plan to engage consistently. Don’t just create an account and expect the followers to come rolling in! You’ll need to create a plan to engage with your target market, post about your products and services, and connect with your followers on the platforms that matter to them.
Know who you’re going after in order to engage with them better
Before you can create a social media presence that attracts your ideal customers, you need to know who your ideal customers are. Identify a specific target market. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure out who your targets are.
First, who is your ideal customer for your products or services? For example, are you targeting small business owners, moms, dog owners, restaurant managers? Get as specific as possible.
Second, where are your target customers already spending their time? This is where research comes in. Conduct research on various social platforms to find out where your target customer already spends their time. Take note of where your competitors have a presence. For example, a business-to-business marketing company might spend most of their social media time networking with other businesses on LinkedIn, while a product-based business targeted toward female millennials might have the best engagement on Instagram.
Steps to ensuring your content is valuable to your audience
There are a few main types of content you can create to make sure that your content is valuable to your audience. Social media is incredibly saturated. If you don’t add value to your followers’ feeds, they’re going to unfollow. Consider including the following types of content in your feed to engage your audience and give them a reason to keep following you:
- Educational content such as tutorials, how-to articles, or a list of helpful tips
- Valuable content that they can use in their life right away
- Inspiring or motivational content
- Thought-provoking content
- Incentives and special offers
Subtly sell with your social channels
Now that you are gaining a following, providing value to your audience, and engaging with them on the platforms, you can begin to subtly sell.
As you listen to and engage with your followers, take note of what they say. As you begin to gain insights on what your customers want and need, you can create products or services that will meet those wants and needs. Then, you can subtly sell.
Don’t be afraid to ask your followers what they want to see more of and then create products and services to sell to satisfy common requests.
Also, social media is a great place to ask your followers for feedback. For example, is your company testing out a new product? Ask a group of your followers to try a beta version and give their opinion. Not only will this gain you valuable insight into your product to make improvements, but it makes your readers feel more connected to your brand, too.
Using paid marketing tools within each platform to amplify results.
There are plenty of paid marketing tools out there to amplify your results. Once you’ve identified your target market and started to build a following, you can start to tap into paid tools.
Email marketing tools, landing pages to sell your products, and paid ads within each social media platform are all ways that you can get your offers in front of more people.
Use these tips to your advantage to build your following, your brand, and your business on social media. Contact us today to learn more and to jump-start your social media strategy.