When people ask me what I do, and I tell them “social media marketing”, I often get looks of either excitement or confusion. Business owners have long known that social media is a necessity in this digital world, but have found it difficult (to say the least) to effectively use social media to their advantage.
I get it! Social media is constantly changing. Social media is time-consuming to do it correctly, and can be expensive to do it well. When it comes to social media, many small business owners I’ve met have simply thrown their hands up in frustration. They know how to personally use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but using social media for business is a completely different animal. The things that should take 5 minutes to accomplish end up taking hours, and your time as a business owner simply cannot be wasted. So, the question is, How does one run a business AND run social media???
Now, I’m not going to try and sell you on outsourcing social media to a professional, even though that’s the simplest answer (and it’s what I do). The business owners I have met, many of whom are just starting their business, simply do not have the resources to spend on any kind of marketing. So, here are some things you can do TODAY and going forward to get your social media poppin’. And the best news is, you don’t have to be a computer wiz to make the magic happen and see results!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Content Is King. As business owners, of course we want to exclaim about how great our products and services are, and blast our special deals, and people will come flocking into our stores, or our phones will start ringing off the hook. Of course, your specials, services, and products should be showcased, but the whole point of social media is also to BE SOCIAL. This means the goal of posting content on your pages is to engage current and potential customers. Engagement is when someone likes, comments, or follows your page and/or post. Engagement is the real measurement of social media ROI, as engagers become brand ambassadors, and brand ambassadors are not only the most loyal, but they will share and loudly proclaim your praises. For free.
So how do you get people to engage with your content? Bring up your Facebook page and look at your most recent posts. Are they salesy? Did anyone like, comment, or share your posts? Were most of your posts links, or were they custom images that represented your brand and vision? If you didn’t have engagement, or if most of your posts were simply asking for the sale, content is the likely culprit.
I like to split up content into several buckets, although each brand is different. One bucket is company-oriented, one bucket is community-oriented, and one bucket is engagement-oriented. (In reality, all are engagement-oriented, but the buckets help us to get away from too much self-promotion.) When thinking about the type of content you’d like to post, plan out your week by rotating through these 3 buckets, and you’ll see your engagement rise organically. Think about your customers, and then create your social media presence around them and their interests, while staying true to your brand’s vision. Images and videos are a fantastic way to create a truly engaging and well-rounded social media presence for your business.
Images can be photos or posts that you create on your own. There are a couple really great programs out there, like Canva or Adobe Spark, that can help you to design beautiful images for your social media feed, and you don’t have to be a computer genius.
Photos to share could be people on your team, a company outing, or behind-the-scenes in your office. The reasons these work well is because you want people to relate to YOU, not just your logo. Showing that you are a real-life, actual human makes people fall in love with your company even more, while behind-the-scenes shows transparency and that you can (and do) have fun.
If you’d like to take a stab at creating your own, branded images for social media, inspirational and positivity quotes are great to get your feet wet. Choose a quote or saying that represents your company and vision, place it over a beautiful background, and BAM! You have social media content that people can relate to, and that they’ll want to share with their audiences.
The best engagement post by far is video (although, with the ever-changing algorithms, this could change any day, haha). Have you noticed that your Facebook News Feed is almost all video? It’s because people LOVE them, and Facebook rewards those posts that get the highest engagement.
Share videos of you working, or a Boomerang of a team-building lunch. Make a post into a video using a free tool like Canva or Adobe Spark. Videos show your followers that you are a real person, while showcasing your personality. The bottom line is, people do business with those they know, like, and trust. So don’t hesitate to share what’s happening, show your hard-working team off, brag about your accomplishments, and film it!
You can easily make social media work for you! Put some thought into your posts, create content that your followers will WANT to see and share, and don’t be nervous to make a few mistakes along the way. Remember, social media doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be DONE!
Go out, and be social!