As a Social Media Consultant, Kim S. Hawkins knows how much of a challenge social media can be. That’s why she feels that the following five tips are absolutely necessary to success.
You Are Enough
“You have to be on social media.”
“If you’re not on social media, your business doesn’t exist.”
“You’re crazy if you are not using (fill-in-the-blank).”
Has anyone told you any of these things? I thought so. Don’t be alarmed and for goodness sake, don’t go building social media profiles on every single available network.
Why? Because you are enough. Social media is just a tool to help you build online relationships and develop a community of people who happen to enjoy your products and services. The thing is, your business is not just about the products and services. People who enjoy them also enjoy a lot of other things in life and that’s where you connect the dots. You are the common thread tying it all together.
Tip: Pick one platform—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram—and do it well. You will know when it’s time to do more.
Don’t Appeal to the Masses
You’re excited about your business, I get it! Truth is, not everyone is going want to hear about your business and all the wonderful products your company provides. That being said, know that you can please some of the people some of the time, and the rest just are not your ideal client. And that’s okay.
Figure out who you are speaking with on social media. When you log in to your social media platform, it’s like walking into a party. You interact with others in the party by asking questions, telling stories, listening, and relating with the other people at the party who just happen to be your fans and followers.
Tip: Hone in on the client you are speaking to. If it’s mothers, athletes, or chefs, craft your message to speak to them and it will help them see how you can best serve them.
It’s Not About You
Just because you create a business page on social media doesn’t mean you get to bombard and broadcast everything about you. Your social media business page is an extension of your storefront. Have you ever walked into a business and been blasted with a line of what’s on sale before the hellos and pleasantries were even exchanged? It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and makes people want to run for the door—don’t be that person.
What you can do on your business page is provide valuable information that is of interest to your fans and followers. Not sure what trips their trigger? Find and follow other pages and groups with similar products and services. This is where you can listen and find out what topics are trending, what questions are being asked, and what solutions are being offered.
Everything you say, post, and do is a direct reflection of your brand identity. Encourage your fans and followers to share content on your page that connects, like selfies, blogs, or tips, that shows how to live a life of wellness.
Tip: Keep a running list of questions that come up online. Answering these questions in a blog post or group is a great way to voice your expertise and build your credibility in the industry.
One of the great features about using social media is pictures! You don’t have to imagine what something looks like, what’s going on, or where something is taking place because digital images can be easily shared and posted online in the blink of an eye.
Words are brought to life with visuals depicting words of inspiration and quotes. You can share images created by others or create your own. Now don’t run away screaming that you can’t afford to buy powerful graphics. There are free online tools giving you options that will fit your budget.
My go-to tool for creating outstanding graphics for small business profiles on social media is Canva. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. Other affordable, fun, and easy-to-use options include PicMonkey, Pablo by Buffer, or PinWords.
Tip: Pictures are a sure way to prompt engagement on social media. Select a tool that suits you (most have free tutorials with videos) and enhance your online business presence with pictures.
Take Your Time
I won’t tell you that numbers do not matter, but I will share this: slow and steady wins the race! Look at the example of others who are doing well online but do not compare yourself and your page to theirs. You have no idea what it took for them to build the online presence that they have.
- Numbers can be deceptive; while they may have 1,000 fans or followers, they may only have a small amount of engagement, so don’t let the numbers fool you.
- An online community is built gradually and is comprised of fans and followers who want to be there.
- Avoid sending mass invitations to connect, friend, or follow.
- Under no circumstances should you ever pay to have anyone become part of your online business community.
The results in social media are not instant. You’re not making pudding. You are building presence and a community. –> TweetThis!
Tip: The numbers are an indicator of what is and is not working well for your online community. Use this information to your advantage and make your community shine online!
What social media tips have worked well for you?
I’d really like to hear about what social media tips have worked or not worked for you.
Have you tried any of the above with great success?
Please leave a comment and let me know.
Kim S Hawkins, Social Media Consultant, creates social media plans for small business owners to help them shine online. Follow her on Twitter: @kshineonline