You run a business and they have told you; you HAVE to be on social media. Well I am here to tell you, ‘they’ are right. But you probably already know that. After all, you are reading this article on the internet, aren’t you? But where do you start and how do you cope with all the social media channels and all the marketing that everyone keeps telling you to do? Well, let us break it down into some simple tips for you. The 6 Ps!
Prioritise. You can’t be on ALL the platforms ALL the time and the key to this is working out WHO your target audience actually are, then you can work out where they hang out!
The CEO of a big firm isn’t likely to be posting on Instagram stories or checking out Tic Toc (I mean he might, let’s not pigeonhole people too much, but it is unlikely). Think about that ideal customer in as much detail as you can: where do they live, likes, dislikes, age, marital status etc. This will help you decide where they spend their time.
Based on the ideal customer I would recommend you focus on two main social media platforms to post on regularly. By all means have a presence on as many as you like, but you can’t do them all at once and keep it up. If you want to, then get help!
Plan. Think about what you are going to post and where. You don’t have to plan it all to the nth degree if you love doing ad hoc posts and ideas, but many people struggle to come up with content every single day, and that is the level of consistency you need to aim for. Having plans in place can help inspire you on days you have no creativity left, and having some saved ideas or content created ready to go can really take the pressure off.
If you love the idea of planning it all then you could go a step further and schedule it too! There are plenty of tools to help you, things like ContentCal or Hootsuite are both easy to use, but find one that suits you and is best for the platforms you are using. Instagram posts can be planned out on a grid using something such as Planoly, whereby you can create a really visually effective layout and play about with it before anything is posted.
Prepare to die! Don’t worry you won’t actually die. But do be prepared that some posts won’t do well or that hilarious video you shared might not get 1200 likes. It happens. At the beginning, posts often die, and you mustn’t get disheartened. It happens to the best copywriters (even me) at the start of their journey online and it still happens now! Just keep going. Keep posting. By all means adapt when it seems necessary if a certain style isn’t working, but don’t expect success overnight.
Also expect some attacks. Trolls, keyboard warriors, or whatever you might call them, are rife and the more content you put out and the more interaction you get, the bigger the opportunity for them. So, choose your way of handling it but please don’t take it to heart. If you can deal with it, then letting them argue on a post can grow the reach, but sometimes it is better to report and block. Take control in any case, and don’t let it stop you.
Patience. Leads won’t come straight away. If you are a kick-ass copywriter you may be able to write some very convincing copy that converts well, but when you are writing content for everyday social media posts don’t expect your inbox to explode overnight. It won’t. It takes time. Social media marketing is about the long game not the short one. Use your posts to build your audience and build that personal brand that sets you apart from everyone else.
Post a mix of content and don’t sell, sell, sell because people won’t like it and they will tune you out. Let people get to know you and then the right ones will grow to like and trust you. When they need help from someone that does what you do, who will they call on? You. The best kind of social media marketing grows an audience that contains your target market and feels connected to your content and to you. Then those leads will start to come, and they won’t stop. And when you do put that odd sales post up? It will convert.
Perfection. Be like Elsa and let it go! Do not wait for that perfect idea before you post content, that perfect hair day before you film the video…that day will never come. As a business owner procrastination is your biggest enemy. As YOU are where the buck stops. Yes, you may not feel like it some days (hence why some planning and prep work is helpful – see above), but you should carry on and push through it. It is actually really valuable for your audience to see those cracks of vulnerability. Don’t hide them. Be brave enough to show some of them. I am not suggesting you air all your dirty laundry online (we all have one of THOSE friends) but talking about an unpleasant experience or difficult time will help people relate to you. Building a personal brand isn’t about being perfect all the time it is about being yourself.
Personality. Last but not least show some personality! Don’t just do what everyone else does, do you. Because even if someone copies that style, they won’t be you doing it. The one thing we all have going for us is our uniqueness. We may like to think we are weirder than the next person and in some cases that is certainly true (I hate cheese, sorry!), but we all have quirks and interesting things about us that makes us who we are.
Show your audience what you like, what you find funny, if you swear, what you look like and even what you sound like. Video can be scary, and I wouldn’t advocate it for everyone because being really uncomfortable on camera can just look awkward, but if you can get out there on video then do. You will improve more and more each time and it is such an effective way for people to get to know you.
Be bold in your social media, be consistent and don’t take it all too seriously. It is just as important to ignore the praise as it is to ignore the hate. Don’t let it go to your head because if you believe all the good then deep down somewhere you will believe the bad too. Rely on friends to keep your feet on the ground. Just remember your focus, and that is to build a brand for your business and to create new clients and/or revenue.
So, go forth and post!