Most business owners know that having a solid social media presence is key when it comes to gaining recognition in the marketplace and growing in popularity with consumers. After all, a majority of consumers are on social media–and before they shop or even purchase–they are checking in with their online peers for recommendations, ideas, and to hear about experiences they’ve had with local businesses.
But how do you kick things into high gear? How do you go from 0 MPH to 60 MPH in 5.2 seconds? Well, maybe you don’t. Maybe you take a deep breath, assess where you are, what your goals are, and what you need to do to get there.
Sure, you need social media. EVERYONE is on social media. People are going to social media for advice on everything from toilet paper to tiny homes. If I need advice on my pet guinea pig, I go to social media. There’s no way around it; you’re going to need to make friends with social.
BUT there is good news! You can start slowly, you can go step by step, and you can enlist help if you want.
- Personalize your content.
No one wants to logon to their Facebook account and see a feed full of gibberish that has nothing to do with their interests. Mega-Major-Tip-Number 1: Get to know your audience and post things they are interested in reading about.
Simply Stated: If your audience likes chocolate, don’t post the hottest new salad recipes.
2. Establish a presence on multiple social media platforms.
You know how not everybody likes peas? And not everybody likes strawberries? (Those people are weird, but ignore that for now.) The point is that different things appeal to different people—and different social platforms appeal to different consumers.
Simply Stated: Pay attention to who’s hanging out on Insta and who’s waxing poetic on Facebook. They’ll respond differently to your messages.
3. Become a great social listener.
Yep, all those people chatting on your social platforms are potential customers—and every time they express concerns, discontent, or suggestions for better service, they are talking DIRECTLY to the businesses that will pay attention to them. This is a test!
Simply Stated: Consumers who are active on social media expect their preferred brands to be responsive and interactive on social media, too. It’s not enough to just be there…you need to interact and build the relationships that will lead to sales.
4. Lean into the popularity of video.
There’s no way around it; video is THE THING. I don’t care if you have to practice in front of your mirror, do a final run in front of your dog, or breathe into a paper bag before you go live. The bottom line is, you need video to reach today’s consumers. But here’s the great thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Little quirks and blunders are endearing to most people—and they won’t judge you for NOT being a movie star.
Simply Stated: Dip your toe into the shallow end of video to reach more potential customers. Take it slowly and learn as you go. Video isn’t going anywhere, however, so it’s time to dive in.
5. Leverage influencers to help you gain brand recognition.
Influencers are power in the social media world. Did you know that word-of-mouth advertising generates more than twice the sales1 of paid advertising? That means when you find a voice in your industry that backs your brand, you’ll get an extra boost on social media because of the leverage influencers wield simply by sharing their preferences and opinions.
Simply Stated: Find genuine influencers who can be allies to your brand online. When they support you, word of mouth will spread, and their followers will also lean into what you have to offer.
6. Have fun with Instagram stories.
There are nearly 125 million2 Instagram users in the U.S. alone. That’s a pretty huge audience for you to market to, so it makes sense that you’d want to lean into some of the popular Instagram features that are capturing attention. Plus, Instagram is a great place to test out your images to see what consumers might like to see on your website, in your newsletter, or in other communications.
Simply Stated: Instagram is a storytelling app, and everyone loves a good story. It’s impossible to understate the importance of visual imagery and its connection to your brand, so go ahead and branch out! Give Insta Stories a try.
Social media is always moving and always changing. We have to move with it, learn with it, and try new things—or we’ll be left in the dust. There are nearly 500 million Tweets3 sent per day! So if businesses settle into the 1-Tweet-per-week mentality, the insights they post will be lost in the time it takes to click and refresh the screen. Social media is leading the way in connecting businesses with consumers, but the only way businesses and potential clients can find you on social media is if you get out there, interact, and share insights that are meaningful to them.
Take time to evaluate the current social media status of your business and determine if you need to enlist the help of a professional social media manager to get things on track. Social media isn’t something to shove into the broom closet to think about next year; social media is booming now! It’s time to get out there, build consumer trust, and increase recognition for your brand.