How To Successfully Build Your Business With A Social Media Strategy
“A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.” - Lee Bolman.
For you to successfully build your business through social media, you need to develop a strategy. Think of a ship leaving a harbor; that ship has a complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where it is going and how long it will take. It has a definite goal, and 99.99% of the time that ship will reach its destination. Now let’s take another ship; this time, we do not put a crew on it or a captain at the helm. We will give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination; we start the engines and let it go. You will agree; if it gets out of the harbor, it will probably sink or wind up shipwrecked on some deserted island. It cannot go anywhere because it has no destination or guidance. In my ten years of providing social media management services, I have helped drive new customers to brick and mortar stores, raise brand awareness, generate leads, increase revenue, and grow loyal followings for numerous businesses. We do this by creating a tailored strategy for each client based on these six guidelines.
1. Determine Your Target Audience
This question is the most important step of them all. It would help if you went deep into the weeds with this determination. First, ask yourself what problem does my product solve or what need does my product fill. Now ask yourself who is my perfect customer or who will benefit most from my service. Obtain as much understanding of who your client/customer is (demographic, behaviors, interest). These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself to define your audience.
2. Find Out Where They Are
Now that you have defined your target audience, it is time to find out where they are online. What social media platforms do these individuals use? To determine which platforms will be most beneficial for reaching your target audience, look up each platform’s demographical data. Focus on two to three platforms to reach your customer base. Do not overwhelm yourself by trying to use 5 or 6 different platforms. Think about what groups these individuals are joining and what hashtags they are following.
3. Go Brand Yourself
Brand Awareness is an essential key to your business. You have to define what you want to be known for your expertise, and what makes you different, why people should choose you over your competitor. Your logo should be on every piece of content you publish; even if it is a motivational quote from Zig Ziglar, put your logo on it. Cohesiveness creates recognition.
4. Content is King
Now you must put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer/client/follower. Why do you follow, like, or engage with a business or brand? Depending on the business type, they more than likely provide value. By creating valuable content for people to consume, you are now introducing your brand to new customers and building trust. As more and more valuable content is consumed, the stronger the trust factor grows, the more likely you become the subject’s authority. You have to become their “go-to” or their “guru.”
When posting your content, ask yourself, “How is this helpful or valuable?” Along with eye-catching graphics, educate people with tips, how to’s and provide value by giving people something they can use immediately. Ask thought-provoking questions; provide inspirational or motivational content as well. Don’t worry, we have provided you with some content ideas at the back of this guide.
5. Non-“Salesy” Selling. Follow The 80/20 Rule
There is no better way to dwarf your following than to be continually trying to sell them. For instance, if you are a real estate agent and you have posted this phrase more than once, “if you know anyone looking to buy or sell a home, please tell them about me,” stop it! Don’t ever do that again. Why would they refer a friend or family member to you? If you were a realtor that follows the 80/20 rule, which is 80% value and 20% promotion, you would not have to post that phrase again. By providing value and helping people understand industry-related topics, you build brand awareness by becoming the subject matter expert. When you reach this point, people will refer to friends and family members who are thinking of buying/selling. When it comes to the 20% promotion, use your Call to Action buttons and create a sense of urgency (time-sensitive offers) or run a Follower Only offer. Take the initiative to move the relationship to the next level.
6. Boost Your Results
Plain and simple: Facebook’s algorithm sucks for organic reach. Your entire following will not see your message. You need to boost certain posts and run targeted ad campaigns to reach new customers. Boosting and targeted ads is a huge topic that can not be written about in this article; so we will save it for another time. To amplify your results and grow your business, you need to “own” your followers. I am always bewildered when I sit down with a business owner, and they tell me they do not have their customer’s contact data. A simple way to do this is to create an incentive post. Give your customers/clients a 20% Off Coupon, a Free Report that presents a solution to their problem, or something of value to them in order to opt in to further communications. By doing this you can capture the name, email address, phone number, or even home address. Once you have this data, you can implement strategies to make your conversion rates go through the roof.
Please understand, social media management should be a way to connect with prospects and customers; keep them up-to-date with news, ask them what they would like to see next from your organization, and drive traffic to your website so you can start collecting useful data to retarget and grow sales. Social media management is not a tool or vertical for an intern or someone inexperienced. If you want to learn more about Facebook Business Marketing, check out our EBook. If you would be interested in speaking to us and learning more about our services, you can set up a free consultation by clicking on this link.