Social media is incredibly simple. All you have to do is sign up for an account, type in your message, and hit send. Customers or clients will flock, right?
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media is its simplicity. The fact that your 13-year-old nephew knows how to navigate Facebook leads you to believe you should be able to make it work for your business without batting an eyelash. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of business owners get tripped up.
Just because you have a successful, six-figure business off of social media, doesn’t mean it will be an automatic success on social media.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself if you’re struggling to get your business humming on social media:
Where Is Your Target Audience Spending its Time?
When you’re launching your business, it’s tempting to think of the key social media players — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — and believe you have to have a presence on each of them. If your target audience isn’t there, though, you won’t get much traction.
It’s also important to know why they’re spending their time there. If you’re targeting school teachers, for example, you might immediately think of Pinterest as a platform you should invest in. If you’re targeting them because you offer professional development courses, however, LinkedIn or Twitter may actually be better options.
You can’t just think of where your target audience is hanging out, you must also consider why.
How Will Your Clients or Customers Find You?
Map out your customer’s or client’s frame of mind to best understand where you should be focusing your attention.
Let’s go back to our teacher example. You offer professional development courses for teachers. You’ve been putting your efforts into Pinterest with no luck, so you do a little digging. It turns out your target audience is on Pinterest … but they’re using the platform to find lesson plan ideas and DIY projects.
What should you do?
- Change the approach: Since your target audience likes DIY projects, what if you created DIY professional development? You could offer printouts or forms they could fill out themselves, then link to additional information (i.e. course materials) on your website.
- Change the platform: Maybe Pinterest isn’t the right platform for what you offer, even though your target audience is there. Shift focus to a platform that fosters networking and professional development like Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Change the audience: The audience you typically go after may not respond on Pinterest, but perhaps a different audience on Pinterest will. Maybe school administrators use Pinterest to find professional development materials for their teachers.
How does Your Target Audience communicate?
Just because something works on a billboard doesn’t mean it will work on Facebook or Twitter. Each social media platform exists to fill a specific communication need.
I may spend time on Twitter while I’m watching a TV show. Facebook is where I share family photos and engage within communities I’m a part of. I enjoy YouTube to watch hysterical spoof videos. Pinterest is where I find recipes.
Your audience may spend time on each of these platforms for entirely different reasons. It’s important to get inside the heads of your avatar and understand why they enjoy Facebook, Snapchat, or LinkedIn.
That’s the key to understanding how you should be communicating.
How Does the Platform Work?
Each social media platform has it’s own tips and tricks.
- If you’re posting to Facebook, you better be aware of the dreaded algorithm.
- Incorporate relevant hashtags on Twitter (you can research on hashtagify.me).
- LinkedIn prefers longer posts within it’s publisher.
- Instagram only allows one dynamic link for each account.
- The list goes on and on …
You may take a look at this list and decide it isn’t worth the trouble – you’d rather hire someone. If that’s the case, reach out to me and we can schedule a discovery call — I’d be happy to do the heavy lifting for you!
I am also gauging interest for 60-minute social media strategy sessions! If that’s something you’re interested in, please let me know!