Updated: Aug 22
If you’re a small business or entrepreneur, social media can often seem like more hassle than it’s worth; but with more of your potential customers migrating over to the land of digital, choosing to shop online, it’s probably time you join the hype and start reaping some of the good stuff…
But how do you go about getting started on Social Media? Below are a few tips to help get you on your feet (or your laptop!)
1. Find Where Your Customer is Hanging Out
The world of social media may seem a little alien at first, but in truth the behaviour of people online is more similar to being offline than you might think. Just like the real world, everyone has their ‘hangout’ online àthe millennials can usually be found posing on Instagram, the professionals on LinkedIn, meanwhile the grey pound are just about getting to grips with how to find old pals on Facebook!
All you have to do is work out which platform you need to be on to connect with the right customers. Ask yourself, who is my business targeted towards?Then do some research to see where they can be found online.
Another great way to work out which platforms you should be on, is to see where your competitors have set up camp.
2. Have A Content Plan
Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to whip out excel and put together a hugely complex digital marketing strategy (though kudos to you if you’re willing to!) But doing some research into the sort content you target customer is interested in could make the difference between 100 and 1000 followers…LITERALLY.
The biggest mistake I see new businesses make online, is using their platform as a place to perpetually self-promote. We know you want to make more sales, but just like if someone followed you down the street every day, brandishing a leaflet in your face, you’d get pretty fed up; well, people find this just as boring when it’s done online. In fact, sometimes this approach can have an adverse effect on your business.
Instead create a list of all the interests and hobbies linked with your business. Are you a yoga studio? Think: health; wellbeing; organic food; eco-products etc. Or maybe you’re a freelance hairdresser? So list things like beauty; fashion and celebrity-news.
Once you start to do this, you are beginning to create a template persona for your target market, mapping out potential interests that you can generate content for. Using the above example of a yoga studio, you could begin to look for recent online articles on wellbeing to share or perhaps a tasty recipe using organic food.
While this may seem like a fool’s errand because it’s not directly bringing in sales for your business, what it will do is help you build an audience of potential customers who rely on you for information and interesting content. In time, these people will become increasingly loyal to your platform and when you promote your business to these people, they’ll be excited and interested to know what you’ve got to offer them.
3. Love Your Followers!
That’s right, Bob from Brighton, Saeed from Surrey or Liz from London – whoever they are, show them some love and appreciation.
Social Media platforms enable you to build positive and lasting relationships with potential customers and as with every good offline relationship, that means it has to go both ways.
In the past, a lot of companies have underestimated the role they have in engaging with their audience but increasingly are becoming savvy to the value of having direct conversations with their customers.
That means, having your platforms attached to your phone or IPad and responding to emails or Facebook messages in real-time. It may seem like a hassle but the truth is that in a world where we can receive our Amazon delivery the same day as we placed the order, we aren’t willing to wait 48 hours for a member of your team to get back to us regarding the price of a yoga session.
There are a million ways to help grow your platform once you’re online, but by always remembering tips 2 and 3 once you’re up and running, you’ll ensure that you’re always putting your target customerat the centre of your efforts.
If you’d like help setting up your social media accounts, posting daily content or even responding to your customers - don’t hesitate to get in touch with J.M. Management today on firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to send us a message.