In the Digital world Social Media Marketing has become critical for all businesses. Small Businesses tend to struggle or are never sure where they fit in this big digital world. The internet is the best way to build your brand and expose yourself to clients. This guide hopes to share 3 critical platforms you must use for your business and how to best utilize them for success.
Everything starts with a plan. So before you put your brand out on the internet, you need to know the following:
- What is your key message? You need to make sure you identify the key messages you will be sharing on each platform. This will make sure you never derail off topic and that you have a cohesive story
- What do you want to achieve with your platforms? Are you online to make sales, connect with your clients or to be an industry expert?
- Do you know you target market? Identifying the people you will be communicating with, understanding what they will be interested in and also how they will feel about your messages, is very important
- Do you have the time? Never join social media if you do not have the time to be consistent and committed, this will hurt your brand. Rather stay off until you are ready.
Depending on your brand and the message you want to communicate, some of these platforms won’t be necessary. You need to look at your brand and type of message you are sending out and choose your platform based on that.
Facebook is the number one platform I would highly suggest you join. Facebook is good for any type of brand for a number of reasons. Facebook allows you to reach all types of people in a number of ways. Not only can you share your business with your close family and friends, but you have access to a number of groups, plus your Facebook page that has great features to help you.
To understand how Facebook pages work see this post
The first thing to do is create a Facebook Page. The page will be what represents your business and will act as your identity. Facebook Pages have great features, that it works like a website. So if you are still starting out and cannot afford a website, this will be great for you. Make sure you share your business with your friends, ask them to like your page and share interesting content to make sure they give you the support by liking and sharing your posts.
Learn how you can boost posts, promote your page to reach your desired audience, who you know will definitely be interested in your content. Facebook ads are cheap and gives you so much control with whatever budget you might have.
Another amazing thing about Facebook, is Facebook Groups. There are thousands and thousands of Facebook groups you can join and be a part of. These allow you to share your business, join discussions and interact with like minded people. You will not only expose your brand to a wider audience but you can grow your contacts, gain new clients and build yourself as an expert in your industry.
I will start off by saying Twitter is not for everyone. So you don’t need to be pressured to be on this platform. Twitter needs time as this is a platform that needs you to interact constantly and on time. Twitter is great to be a part of a community, to join in on discussions and share your views.
If you want to join twitter, make sure you have interesting content to share. I use twitter to share all my blog posts and a lot of tips and insight that can be helpful to other entrepreneurs. Because I know that a lot of people are interested in the content I share, it has helped me a lot. Interesting content earns you retweets and exposes you to a larger audience, gaining you new followers on a daily. So make sure you plan awesome tweets that you know will be interesting and share pictures of your amazing work as well.
If you are there as your brand, make sure you have a good bio that explains who you are and also your times you are online, so they know when you are responding to queries.
Because twitter only allows you 140 characters, its crucial to create messages that make sense and are understandable in your character count. Triple check your tweets before sending them out, cause once its out there you can’t reverse it. Last but not least, mind how you respond to complaints, whoever is handling your account, must never take anything personally or send out insulting remarks. Such things go viral so fast and can hurt your brand.
Instagram is one of my most favorite platforms, although I enjoy them all, being a creative I see things visually. So Instagram is the app I spend most of my time on.
The one thing you need to understand about this platform is that people want to see beautiful, creative and high quality curated content. So this is also another platform you need ask to yourself if its worth joining. This platform probably needs your time and effort more than the others. Depending on the type of business you are in, sharing content varies.
If you offer a service you need to sell your service through inspiring images, or images of your work. Use images that will earn you clients with captions explaining your services that win them over. If you selling a product, show case the product in its amazing form, show case how it’s used and how your clients are loving it. Instagram is also great for testimonials and proving sales.
We were recently introduced to Instagram for Business, which means amazing features, that make it easier to connect with our audience and gain us more clients. You can now have a business page allowing you to be identified easier, the page comes with great features that allow you to track your success. You can also run ads, exposing you to a larger audience you do not have. Hashtags are also great, as it allows you to add your work with similar content and helps you to be found when and if the hashtag is searched.
Instagram requires you to be consistent and needs you to produce quality work. If you are not ready for it, best to stay away until you are ready.
Other Social Media:
I wanted to share the top three platforms you can start with if you are new in the game. They are much more easier since we already use them for our personal use and if are exposed to them for the first time, they are easier to understand. But there are other platforms you can explore if you want to be on more platforms.
I personally use Pinterest, as a creative it’s important to showcase my creative work, share my blog posts and also for creative inspiration. So if you are a fellow creative you definitely need to be on Pinterest. Even if you do not share any content, use it to be inspired and expose yourself to so much more.
Other platforms you can try out is Linkedin and Google+. These are on a bit more professional side, but depending on the type of business you are in you can find ways on utilizing the audience and features.
Then we have video sharing apps like Snapchat and Periscope. These are great if you do decide to join them but they now seem useless due to Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Instagram Live.
Take time looking at each platform I have mentioned, explore and decide what is best for you and if you are not ready don’t feel pressurized to join.