When I left my corporate job as a risk and internal controls manager, I thought I was pretty social media savvy …. I was on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, I had played around with Whatsapp and Snapchat… and I was…. For someone who was using it for personal use.
But now that I wanted to use it to promote my new business and to offer it as a service, I realised I was a bit like Jon Snow… I knew nothing!!
So, I read loads of stuff, I experimented posting different things at different times and used my analytics to understand what went well and what didn’t work, and adapted my strategy to produce more of the content that my community wanted.
Today I’d like to share with you my top ten tips I learnt while doing this research and experimentation
1. Need to be consistent
There is no point in turning up every day for a week, and then not being visible again for 6 months, until you have something to sell, or you need some help. You need to show up at least every other day, offer value and add to the conversations. People need to know who you are, before they are willing to buy from you.
2. Everyone thinks they know how to use it until they start using it for their business
Like I said earlier, I thought I knew my social media, but the way you use it to chat with your friends and family is not the same as you do when looking at using the platforms from a strategic point of view. Although, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have conversations with people in different groups, or with your followers etc, it just means that when you are promoting your business, you really need to think about what message you are trying to get over to your prospective clients.
3. That people want to help, don’t be afraid to ask you can normally find someone who knows the answer
I recently had a task, where I had developed a website for a client, but 3 months on, she still wasn’t on the search results when looking for her services in her local area. I did loads of research, made some keyword changes and still it wasn’t coming up when searching. So, I got on 1 of my groups on Facebook and asked the question. Within 5 minutes I was on the phone with an SEO expert, who talked me through how to build up your local business SEO and how the client needed to produced more content so that Google knew she was there. Others helped by pointing out that her business is in a highly competitive business and other little things that I could do to push her up the pages. For me to find out all of that information would have taken me days, but with quick question, to a group I’m active in, I got so much help! But on the flipside, if you can help out, then please make sure you’re giving back as well as taking from other members on your social media.
4. Not everyone will like you
I know that this is uncomfortable for a lot of people, it certainly is for me! But, there are more than one billion people active on Facebook alone, so you can’t expect everyone to have the same ideas and ideals as you. The important thing is to be yourself and you will find like-minded people, who you can chat with, and you will find people who need your services…. Without you having to sell your soul!
5. You can’t be everywhere, choose your platforms, pick your groups
As much as it would be great to be active on all social media, there are 8 that I’m aware of at this moment in time and there probably are more! To be visible on all of them would take all of your time and effort, so when would you actually have time to create and offer your services, unless of course you outsource your social media management. What would be the point of being in all groups? You need to think about your strategy, about where your clients hang out and which ones you enjoy using…. After all, if you don’t enjoy using them, you won’t really want to be there and it will show. Then pick maybe 2 or 3 platforms and the same number of groups on each and get really visible on them. Ask questions, offer advice, answer questions…. So, people get to know you. They get curious about what you do and start looking at your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or your website.
6. You need to engage with your community, interact with them, ask questions
As I said above, you need to communicate with your community, both in your own group and other groups that you are active in. I know it’s a bit twee, but people do buy from people…. So they need to know you, to understand your values and believe that you understand their needs. Turn up consistently, help where you can and offer insight to others, even before you have something to sell, show them that you know your subject area. That way, when you do have something to sell, they will be a warm audience and much more likely to buy from you.
7. Content is king
It’s a bit of a jungle out there, with loads of content everywhere…. all fighting for their prospective clients’ attention. So, if you want to get noticed you need to make sure you’re creating quality content, that you have really thought about what your clients need and want and how you can satisfy that need. You also need to be willing to promote that content, so that people know its there. You may write fantastic content, but if people aren’t reading it, they won’t be aware of your particular expertise and you may miss out on vital sales.
8. You need to add value
Getting your voice heard is hard. There are lots of people out there, all vying for attention. So, like with your content, your conversations with others, your advice and insights, they all need to be valuable to others. You need to be offering something that they haven’t already thought of themselves, and you need to be giving at least as much as you are taking…. Otherwise people will see you like that guy at the bar, who always stands back a bit, so they don’t have to get the next round!
9. You need to know where your clients hang out
Before choosing your platforms (see number 5), do a little research. What platforms are your clients on, what groups are they active in and what sort of content are they liking and sharing? There is absolutely no point in you being on Facebook, if your target audience is all on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you know where they are, you can join the same platforms, the same groups etc. But again, make sure that you enjoy the platform. If you find it a chore to keep up to date on Pinterest, then you probably aren’t going to be able to be as active as, for instance, you are on Instagram, which you love!
10. Don’t just schedule and forget
There are loads of scheduling tools out there to choose from. Facebook even provides the ability to schedule, without it even showing that its been scheduled! While scheduling is smart, you can batch your content and schedule it all at the same time, for the next week or month, please don’t think you can schedule it and then ignore it and move on. You need to engage with others. If someone likes or comments on your post, you might want to thank them for it. Someone may ask a question. You want to be there to respond, otherwise they may feel you don’t care and they will move on to someone who they feel does care. What scheduling allows you to do, is to plan and implement your content in advance, then you can go into the platform once or twice a day, to see what interactions you have had.
It’s not easy, it is different using social media as a business, rather than just for personal use, but most people are kind and want to help you. So if you do have a problem, get on one of your groups and ask for help. But remember, if you can help someone else, then hold up your hand and be willing to give a little bit of your time to help others.
Choose your community and your social media platforms carefully and if they don’t resonate with you, then go elsewhere. Its important to be where your clients are, but its more important to be true to yourself. Be authentic (yes I know its a bit of an overused word nowadays) and your clients will come to you.
And lastly, while scheduling can help you be consistent, you need to engage with your community and add value. Be there and be ready to discuss things and build relationships.
And if all this sounds a little overwhelming and you’d like some support, then why not have a look at my work with me page, where I offer 3 ready done for you social media packages, or a shopping list, where you can build your own package
And if you need support or are feeling a bit demotivated and want to join a facebook group that offers advice and will be there for you if you need it, then why not join up below